Paul Farmer—a devastating loss

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A worldwide well being hero dies too younger

Earlier at present, we discovered that Paul Farmer, MD, who began Companions in Well being, died in his sleep over the weekend at age 62.



Photograph by John Ra, Companions in Well being

The Boston Globe reported that colleagues at Harvard mentioned Farmer had been working and instructing at Rwanda’s College of World Well being Fairness, which he co-founded.

I can’t imagine Dr. Farmer is gone. He had such an incredible world presence. Dr. Suzanne Maman, professor and affiliate dean for world well being on the Gillings Faculty, recounted that lots of their masters’ program candidates mentioned they had been motivated by Farmer.

I learn Mountains Past Mountains, by Tracy Kidder. Farmer, the topic of the ebook, turned certainly one of my heroes for his work in a few of the world’s most forgotten and difficult locations and his willingness to danger quite a bit for the individuals who wanted him most. A person who simply might have caught to Boston, he lived in locations like Haiti and Rwanda, the place he cared for sufferers and other people in communities a lot of the world ignored. He created Companions in Well being, a corporation that turned probably the most influential world well being non-profits.

A few yr in the past, Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, dean of the varsity of public well being at Brown College, hosted a small gathering to which he invited Paul Farmer. I counted myself fortunate to have acquired an invite and completely loved the interplay with Farmer. A mild however charismatic man with a beguiling humorousness, Farmer was a large. It was not simply college students who admired him.

Farmer did his work with respect for all individuals and labored with communities, the one means world well being work needs to be carried out. At Gillings, we mourn his loss. Our ideas are along with his spouse, Didi Bertrand Farmer, and their three kids. At his demise, Farmer was Kolokotrones College Professor at Harvard College, chair of World Well being and Social Medication at Harvard Medical Faculty, and chief of the Division of World Well being Fairness at Brigham and Girls’s Hospital.

Gillings Faculty world well being college students will host a screening of “Bending the Arc,” a documentary movie about Farmer and his work, on Wednesday, March 2, 5-7 pm, within the Michael Hooker Analysis Heart’s Blue Cross and Blue Protect Auditorium (Rm. 0001)
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