Benedictine Grad Student Olyvia Phillips Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

June 13, 2018

Olyvia PhillipsBenedictine University Public Health graduate student Olyvia Phillips has been selected for the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship – a year-long service learning program that empowers Fellows to design and implement projects that help address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.


Named in honor of famed humanitarian and Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program encourages students to become lifelong leaders in service by helping to address unmet health needs among vulnerable Chicagoland residents. In collaboration with existing community organizations, each Schweitzer Fellow will launch a community-based project, providing 200 hours of service. Using a broad public health lens, the new Fellows will work to improve community wellbeing and target the social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that have a profound impact on health and quality of life.


A resident of Channahon, Illinois, Phillips will work with the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in collaboration with the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, Illinois Chapter, on developing a health education program for 13-17 year old teens who attend the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club. Her program will provide a space for teens to engage in activities and discussions to aid in developing their knowledge on health and healthy behaviors. Visit to learn more about the Fellows and their service projects.


“Working with a multidisciplinary group of health professionals to improve health outcomes is both rewarding and essential,” Phillips said. “The Schweitzer Fellowship provides the unique opportunity to create meaningful experiences and become agents of change to improve quality of life through service.”


In addition to their service projects, Phillips and her peers will also participate in a thirteen-month program that includes monthly meetings, trainings, and ongoing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as support from a team of mentors from their schools, project sites, alumni network and staff.


As a new Fellow, Phillips joins a network of over 600 Chicago Program alumni who have provided over 120,000 hours of community service to more than 150 community groups over the course of the Program’s twenty plus year history.


About The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program

For over 20 years, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program has provided a platform for graduate students in health related fields to design and implement innovative projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved populations throughout Chicago. This nationally recognized service-learning program has provided over 120,000 hours of community service to more than 150 community organizations and has had a lasting impact on the Chicago-land community.


About Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

Health & Medicine is a Chicago based non-profit working to improve the health of all people in Illinois by promoting health equity. Founded in 1981 by Dr. Quentin Young, it was formed as an action-oriented policy center—nimble, independent, and focused on regional health issues. Health & Medicine’s mission is to promote social justice and challenge inequities in health and health care. It conducts research, educates, and collaborates with other groups to advocate policies and impact health systems to improve the health status of all people.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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