Dr. Link graduated from Brown University, then received her medical degree and training in pediatrics from Stanford University School of Medicine. After several years as a pediatrician with Texas Children's Pediatric Associates, she had a shift in her clinical interests and spent three years working with incarcerated women at Harris County Jail as part of Healthcare for the Homeless Houston’s Jail Inreach Program. From her experiences working with these women, she developed "Healthy and Whole" an innovative and award-winning program which provides women exiting prostitution and human trafficking with comprehensive trauma-informed health and wellness programming. Healthy and Whole also gave hundreds of medical, pharmacy, nursing and social work students the opportunity to learn about marginalized communities while volunteering as part of the program. Dr. Link has long advocated for the underserved, testifying in front of the Texas Supreme Court on mental health reforms and presenting her research on the needs of women exiting the criminal justice system at national conferences. She has a long history of teaching students having had teaching appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and the UTHealth School of Public Health. She knows the Fellowship from all different angles having served as the Board Chair for five years, overseeing the growth of ASFHG from training just twelve Fellows a year to a cohort that now numbers over seventy a year. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for New Hope Housing and YES Prep, and is a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Class of 59.
Carol graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Sociology. During her undergraduate education, she worked as a research assistant in several fields including human pathogen based Microbiology research and “Sit Down and Play”, a brief primary care-based program to facilitate positive parenting behaviors through take-home play activities. She then earned her Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health at Houston with certificates in health disparities as well as maternal and child health. During her MPH, Carol worked on adolescent sexual health research projects in high teen birth rate areas in the greater Houston Area and was the
internal chair for the student outREACH student organization. In addition, Carol is also an Albert Schweitzer Fellow-for-Life; her project focused on healthy relationships and sexual health education in adolescent teen girls at New Hope Housing. Carol looks forward to applying what she has learned with her education and experience to assist current fellows in program development, management, and using an intersectional lens when working with communities.
Program Manager, Development Associate
As a Houston native, Hunter graduated from Episcopal High School before pursuing two degrees at Louisiana State University. She graduated LSU with a B.A. in Digital Advertising and a B.A. in Spanish. During her senior year, Hunter worked for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in their marketing department, with emphases on advertising campaigns, geo-locating, database research and management, industry trends, and customer relations. Prior to joining the Fellowship, Hunter was a high school Spanish teacher in New Orleans, responsible for creating innovative lesson plans for four different levels of instruction. Hunter is eager to utilize her communication and social media strategies to positively impact community relations and engagement for the Fellowship.
Joanna Hawkins graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a concentration in Race & Ethnicity Studies. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health at Houston. Joanna’s primary areas of interest and experience are in maternal/child health, sexual health education, infectious disease prevention, and quality improvement.
During her MPH program, Joanna worked on HIV-prevention research projects with men who have sex with men (MSM) and substance-using MSM, as well as research to better understand the needs of women exiting the criminal justice system. As a student, Joanna began working at Baylor College of Medicine, where she was employed for five years. There, she coordinated research projects focused on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV. She then partnered with the Texas Department of State Health Services, serving as the Syphilis Coordinator for the Fetal Infant Morbidity Review Board for Syphilis and HIV in Houston (FIMRSH). She and her team focused on preventing vertical transmission of syphilis and HIV during pregnancy by identifying missed opportunities for disease prevention, educating healthcare providers, and working with community agencies to implement system-wide changes.
Joanna is also an Albert Schweitzer Fellow-for-Life. For her project, she worked with women at Angela House who were re-establishing their lives after incarceration. Now, Joanna is passionate about mentoring Fellows as they plan, implement, and evaluate their projects--both to shape the Fellows themselves, and to maximize the positive impact on the communities they serve.
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John Davis graduated from Baylor University as a University Scholar with foci in Medical Humanities, Chemistry, and Spanish. He then continued his education at the University of Texas Medical Branch in the MD-PhD program. He received graduate training in both Medical Humanities and in Population Health Sciences, ultimately earning his PhD in the latter in 2022. His training was primarily in epidemiology and biostatistics. He is now completing the fourth year of his medical school training, and plans to apply for residency subsequently.
John’s passion is ‘poverty medicine’ – the care for patients with complex needs with limited social and financial capital to meet those needs. He most recently served as the Clinical Operations and Education Activities Director at St. Vincent’s Free Clinic in Galveston, and previously worked with the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship as a Fellow in 2018. He recently used those experiences and passions to initiate a post-hospital disease management program for uninsured heart failure patients, which observationally was associated with large decreases in readmissions for its participants. His work in heart failure has also led to numerous consulting roles across biotechnologies, including with GE Healthcare. He also was awarded and NIH pilot grant to assess the use of point-of-care ultrasound in novel settings such as low-resource clinics.
John joins as a Public Health Mentor for the Fellowship with hopes of empowering its students to have the knowledge, resources, and skills necessary to maximize the value of the project to their communities.
Nichole Hoang, MPH, NDTR
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Nichole obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition through the Didactic Program in Dietetics at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. Her primary focus has been on community nutrition, with involvement in initiatives such as TX Sprouts and Brighter Bites, both designed to serve children and families in low-income communities through nutrition education. During her graduate studies, Nichole played a role in integrating nutrition into medical education through her work with Nutrition in Medicine at the McGovern Medical School, where she developed supplementary learning materials, deepening her understanding of the significance of nutrition in healthcare.
One of the most meaningful aspects of Nichole's professional and personal journey has been the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship during the 2022-2023 year. Her project, JumpStart Health, combines nutrition education and a container garden project, empowering residents at New Hope Housing to have agency in their dietary choices, mental health, and community connections. Through her experiences, Nichole's professional interests developed around food systems and policy, as well as the intricate web of social determinants of health that influence dietary behaviors and overall population health. Born in Houston, she is deeply rooted in the community and is driven by the desire to make a positive impact on the very community that raised her.
As a Fellowship Associate, Nichole is eager to contribute to the Fellowship's mission of improving individual, interpersonal, and community influences on community health. She looks forward to collaborating with fellows to continue making meaningful contributions to the well-being of their community.
Anika is a senior at the University of Houston, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Law, Values, and Policy, set to graduate in May 2024. During her junior year of college, Anika worked as a Research Intern at the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement where she engaged in comprehensive policy research focusing on criminal justice, healthcare, and housing in Texas. Her research emphasized gender-related issues within Texas juvenile prisons, authoring an article addressing the gender bias within the U.S. justice system. Prior to joining the fellowship, Anika served as a Legal Assistant at Plante Law Firm, in Houston, TX, conducting legal research, preparing legal documents, and overseeing administrative tasks; additionally, at Olson & Olson, LLP, she worked as a Legal File Clerk, managing case files, collaborating with attorneys, administrators, and training new clerks on operational responsibilities. Anika is enthusiastic about leveraging these experiences to provide administrative support and contribute to the success of the Fellowship.