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Co-founder of Partners In Health Paul Farmer to speak Feb. 28

February 21, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Saturday, Feb. 28, medical anthropologist, physician and co-founder of Partners In Health Paul Farmer will deliver a lecture titled "Rethinking Health and Human Rights" in McCullough Social Space at 3 p.m., located in the McCullough Student Center on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125). Live satellite feeds of the talk will take place in the Grille, also located in McCullough Student Center, and in Dana Auditorium, located in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125). The event is sponsored by the student-organizers of Middlebury College Activities Board's (MCAB) Speaker Series, and hosted by the MCAB Spring Symposium group, Middlebury Global Health Action Network.

A professor in the Harvard Medical School Global Health and Social Medicine Department, Farmer is also associate chief of the division of global health equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is an attending physician in infectious diseases at Brigham and has served as medical director of L'Hôpital Bon Sauveur, a charity hospital in rural Haiti.

Partners In Health (PIH) is a Boston-based international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Twenty years ago, the organization set out to provide quality health care to a squatter community in central Haiti - the poorest region of the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Today, PIH works in ten countries spanning four continents, providing community-based treatment and social support to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, hunger and malnutrition.  

Farmer's work draws primarily on active clinical practice and focuses on diseases that disproportionately afflict the poor. Along with his many colleagues, he has pioneered community-based treatment strategies for AIDS and tuberculosis and has challenged the policymakers and critics who claim that quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor settings.

He is the author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly publications, including "Pathologies of Power" (2003), "Infections and Inequalities" (1998), "The Uses of Haiti" (1994), and "AIDS and Accusation" (1992). In addition, he is co-editor of "Women, Poverty, and AIDS" (1996) and of "The Global Impact of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis" (1999) and has written extensively about health and human rights and the role of social inequalities in determining the distribution and outcomes of infectious diseases.

Farmer is the recipient of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Salk Institute Medal for Health and Humanity, the Duke University Humanitarian Award, the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the American Medical Association's Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award, the Heinz Humanitarian Award, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In 1993, he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "genius award" in recognition of his work. He holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University and both a medical and doctorate degree from Harvard University.

For more information, contact Diana Chiu at or the Middlebury College Campus Activities and Leadership office at 802-443-3103.