Dr. Paul Farmer, Medical Anthropologist, Speaks at Canisius

BUFFALO, NY – Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, co-founding director of Partners in Health, spoke at Canisius College on Monday, September 16 at 7 p.m. His lecture, entitled “To Repair the World,” was presented by The William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science Lecture Series.

Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest people.  He is a founding director of Partners in Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization started in 1987 that provides direct-care services, advocacy and research activities for those who are sick or living in poverty. Started as a one-building clinic in the village of Cange, PIH’s project in Haiti has grown to a multi-service health complex that includes a primary school, an infirmary, a surgery wing, a training program for health outreach workers, a 104-bed hospital, a women’s clinic and a pediatric care facility. Over the past 20 years, PIH has expanded operations to 12 sites throughout Haiti and 12 additional countries.  Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and worldwide have pioneered community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor areas.

He has written extensively on health, human rights and the consequences of social inequality. Farmer’s most recent book is To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. Additional titles include Haiti after the Earthquake, Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader; Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor; The Uses of Haiti, Infections and Inequalities; The Modern Plagues; and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame. Tracy Kidder's book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, chronicles the development of Farmer’s work in Haiti and beyond.

Farmer holds a medical degree and doctorate degree from Harvard University where he is Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as chair of the division of Global Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and as the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary- General on Community-Based Lessons from Haiti.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award from the American Medical Association, and, with his PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.