NECO student uses fellowship to promote visual health for 5-13 year olds at Boston Chinatown’s Red Oak After School Program
Jacqueline Su-yuo, Class of 2016, was recently honored at a ceremony and reception for 2014-2015 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship® Award winners on May 7, 2015 in Boston. The ceremony recognized the year-long projects of 13 area Fellows and included a poster session and celebration program. She is shown in the photo besides her poster detailing her project with Kathy Majzoub the Regional Director of the Northeast for Prevent Blindness.
The Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program was founded in 1992 and offers graduate student leaders from medical fields an opportunity to receive a stipend to address a social factor affecting health care in their area of expertise or interest. Jacqueline Su-Yuo, Class of 2016, was chosen for her project focusing on accessibility of vision care for children in Boston. The project combined her passion for optometry and her interest in working with the pediatric community by developing a program to promote visual health for 5-13 year olds at Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Red Oak After School Program.
Ms. Su-Yuo’s experiences traveling to Rwanda and Nicaragua to help build public health infrastractures led her to apply to the fellowship. “The Schweitzer Fellowship was a perfect fit because it offers the support of other fellows with like interests and a wonderful framework to help you achieve your goals. I think what is most unique about the Schweitzer Fellowship is its interdisciplinary approach to public health and its emphasis on encouraging collaboration between all sectors of healthcare.”
Ensuring good outcome and building in sustainability are critical for each fellowship project. Ms. Su-Yuo explains, “We were able to screen 74 out of 89 kids in the Red Oak after school program and were able to catch 21 kids who failed the vision screenings.” Her project built in sustainability by both training and certifying individuals at the center to perform eye screenings after her project ended. In this way, the center’s group leaders will be able to identify potential visual problems and promote visual health by making recommendations for comprehensive eye exams at area optometrists.
For Ms. Su-Yuo, this experience helped her refine her time management skills as she managed the 200+ hour fellowship in addition to her responsibilities as a 3rd year optometry student and studying for the NBEO Board Exam Part 1. She explains that she gained “a deeper insight into how public health works from all sectors of health care. I also learned how to put an idea into action. I gained valuable tools that can be used to create a program and then evaluate its effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.”
Jacqueline explains, “I am so proud of my vision screening team and all the people at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Red Oak After School Program who took initiative to make vision care a priority for their community.”
Jacqueline Su-Yuo and her group at the Red Oak After School Program in Chinatown
Ms. Su-yuo was honored for her work this past year along with 12 other Boston Schweitzer fellows at the yearly ceremony and reception at the Harvard Medical School.
Jacqueline Su-Yuo and Dean Barry Fisch at the Awards Ceremony