Dr. Paul Farmer, a world-renowned medical anthropologist and physician, spoke about social medicine, global health and healthcare as a human right at an April 22 campus event hosted by the Humanities Institute.
Farmer, who holds the Humanities Institute’s sixth C. L. and Henriette Cline Centennial Visiting Professorship in the Humanities, addressed a packed ballroom in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center about his ongoing humanitarian work in Rwanda and Haiti, and the role academic institutions play as part of their community.
“The biggest problem, as I see it, is a lack of imagination,” Farmer stated during his presentation. “It is excuses that render diseases untreatable.”
In 1987, Farmer co-founded Partners In Health, an international nonprofit that provides direct health care services and spearheads research and advocacy for those who are sick and living in poverty. He has established a dozen public health care clinics around the world to combat diseases and empower poverty-stricken communities.
Before his talk, Farmer was introduced to the audience as a “man of action,” and it was clear by the amount of students who lined up during the Q&A session that he is also one who inspires action.
Farmer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is the Kolokotrones University Professor and the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He is also the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton. For more about his work, visit the Humanities Institute’s website.