Global health care humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer to speak at Iowa State Aug. 25

AMES, Iowa - Global humanitarian and medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer will kick off Iowa State University's fall lectures with a talk on "Haiti after the Earthquake." His presentation will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, in Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State Center. It is part of the university's World Affairs Series, and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m., and a book signing will immediately follow the talk.

Photo by Mark Rosenberg, Partners in Health

Dedicating his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people, Farmer is a founding director of Partners in Health. The international nonprofit organization provides direct health care services, research and advocacy on behalf of those who are sick and live in poverty. Partners in Health has changed the practice of public health throughout the world, successfully treated drug-resistant tuberculosis and created a model for teaching hospitals in destitute villages from Haiti to Rwanda. The 24-year-old organization has 13,000 employees; most are locals.

Farmer also is chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Global Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

He has written extensively about health and human rights, and the role of social inequalities in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases, most recently in "Haiti after the Earthquake." His other books include "Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader," "The Uses of Haiti," "Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues" and "AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame."

The subject of the book "Mountains beyond Mountains" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder, Farmer has been profiled by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CBS' "60 Minutes," PBS and NPR.

Farmer has received many honors, including a MacArthur "Genius Award" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Salk Institute Medal for Health and Humanity, the Outstanding International Physician/Nathan Davis Award from the American Medical Association, and, with his Partners in Health colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

Farmer received his bachelor's degree in 1982 from Duke University, and his M.D. and a Ph.D. in anthropology simultaneously in 1990 from Harvard University.

Farmer's talk is cosponsored by the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body, and 27 additional entities (see sidebar). More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.