Humanitarian Paul Farmer to discuss ‘Haiti since the earthquake’ Nov. 19 at URI

Special added lecture is part of URI Honors Colloquium on health care

KINGSTON, R.I. – Nov. 5, 2012 – Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician who has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest 0people, has been added to the roster of speakers in the University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium. He will discuss “Haiti Since the Earthquake,” the subject of his latest book, on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Farmer’s presentation, part of the semester-long colloquium called “Health Care Change? Health, Politics and Money,” takes place in Edwards Auditorium on the URI Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

The founder of the international non-profit group Partners in Health, Farmer was the subject of the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder, who was the first Honors Colloquium speaker of the year.

Farmer began his lifelong commitment to the health of the people of Haiti in 1983, and after founding Partners in Health in 1987, the initial clinic he established grew into 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. Partners in Health subsequently expanded its operations to 12 sites in Haiti and into 12 additional countries around the world, becoming an international model for providing health care to poor communities.

Farmer is the recipient of the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician Award from the American Medical Association, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is 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 in Boston. He has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality, including Partner to the Poor, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor, and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame.

The final two colloquium speakers are Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, on Nov. 27, and Unni Karanukara, international president of Doctors Without Borders, on Dec. 10. The medical musical comedy, Damaged Care, will be performed on Dec. 4.

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live! All of the lectures will be streamed live at, where the complete schedule of events is also listed. For additional information about the URI Honors Colloquium, contact Deborah Gardiner at or 401-874-2381.

The sponsors of Paul Farmer’s lecture are South County Hospital, the URI Office of the Provost, the Honors Program, and the John Hazen White Center for Ethics and Public Service.

The major sponsor of the Honors Colloquium is the URI Honors Program, with sustaining sponsors including the URI Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, and the Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment. Leadership sponsors include the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the college of Pharmacy, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Multicultural Center, and the Department of Communications and Marketing. Also sponsoring the Honors Colloquium are Cox Communications, the College of Business Administration, Department of Publications and Creative Services, College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, Division of Administration and Finance, Division of Student Life, and Department of Communication Studies of the Harrington School of Communication & Media.