Christopher Lewis, MD, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Medicine, associate professor of family medicine and UC Health family physician, was honored at a Jan. 24 ceremony as a "2014 Champion for Children” by the non-profit, 4C for Children.
Lewis and two other "champions” were recognized for their work to ensure bright futures for children in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and beyond. He is the founder of the Village Life Outreach Project, a nonprofit organization started in 2004 with a mission to unite communities to promote life, health and education. Most of Village Life’s work focuses on three remote and impoverished villages in the Rorya district of Tanzania.
During its existence, the Village Life Outreach Project has led 20 service learning and volunteer trips to Tanzania involving not only the College of Medicine but also students, faculty and staff from the colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Education and the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.
The project also involves the UC Honors program and UC International. About 300 UC students and faculty have traveled to Tanzania with Village Life, and hundreds more have been involved with state-side work with the organization.
"Our basic approach is assembling an interdisciplinary team and working with a community of 25,000 residents to fight poverty and effect change,” Lewis said. "Our students at UC may change the world, but I would argue the experience in Tanzania has its greatest change on students themselves. We like to think we provide the students with an invaluable life-altering experience for learning.”
Other "champions” named by 4C for Children were Kay Geiger, president of PNC Bank, Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
For more information about Village Life Outreach please visit www.villagelifeoutreach.org