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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Partners In Health medical director to discuss infectious disease and human rights at URI April 18

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 3, 2006 -- Joia Mukherjee, medical director of Partners In Health, an international medical charity, will present the spring honors colloquium lecture at the University of Rhode Island on April 18 at 7 p.m. Her topic will be “HIV as a New Paradigm for Health and Human Rights.”

The lecture will be held in the Barry Marks Auditorium in Chafee Social Science Center at URI’s Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

“Joia has been around the world numerous times helping the profoundly poor fight deadly infectious diseases,” said URI Professor Roger LeBrun. “She and her colleagues Paul Farmer and Jim Kim offer hope for the poorest of the poor. Their stories are an inspiration to all of us as we confront the greatest public health challenges of the century.”

Partners In Health works with groups on four continents to bring high quality health care to those most in need, from destitute rural villages in Haiti and Rwanda to the slums of Lima and the tuberculosis-ravaged prisons of Russia. The organization has developed a model of care that former President Bill Clinton has called “a model for the world and a beacon of hope to millions.”

Mukherjee has been involved in health care access and human rights issues since 1989. In Haiti, she and two colleagues established a program to treat patients with HIV infection using highly active antiretroviral therapy, one of the first efforts of its kind in a developing country. This program served as a model for the World Health Organization and other global efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Mukherjee is an executive board member of Health Action AIDS, a campaign conducted with Physicians for Human Rights to engage the U.S. health professional community in the international advocacy and education effort to stop the global AIDS pandemic.

She trained in infectious disease, internal medicine and pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and earned a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She serves on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where she teaches courses in social medicine and infectious disease. Her scholarly work focuses on the human rights aspects of HIV treatment and on the implementation of complex health interventions in resource-poor settings.

The lecture is part of the URI spring honors colloquium on “The Global Challenge of Emerging Infectious Disease in Developing Nations.” For more information contact Roger LeBrun at 401-874-2934 or lebrun@uri.edu.