Paul Farmer, American physician and global health care pioneer, dies at 62


Paul Farmer, an American physician and medical anthropologist famend for his progressive work in offering health care to poorer international locations, died Monday at age 62, his nonprofit group Partners in Health said.  

The Boston-based group stated he “unexpectedly passed away today in his sleep while in Rwanda.”

“Paul Farmer’s loss is devastating, but his vision for the world will live on through Partners in Health,” the group’s CEO Dr. Sheila Davis stated in a statement. “Paul taught all those around him the power of accompaniment, love for one another, and solidarity.”

Farmer’s work on offering health care options to poorer international locations introduced him broad acclaim. A 2003 e book profiling him, “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” known as him “the man who would cure the world.”

Tributes to Farmer’s legacy poured in on social media from all over the world.

Samantha Power, the previous U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that Farmer was “a giant” in his discipline.

“Devastating news,” she posted. “Paul Farmer gave everything — everything — to others. He saw the worst, and yet did all he could to bring out the best in everyone he encountered.”

Devastating information. Paul Farmer gave every thing—every thing—to others. He noticed the worst, and but did all he may to carry out the very best in everybody he encountered. Indefatigable, mischievous, beneficiant, sensible, soulful, skeptical, idealistic, beloved. A large.

— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) February 21, 2022

“It is hard to overstate the impact Dr. Paul Farmer had on the medical profession,” pulmonologist and medical analyst Dr. Vin Gupta tweeted

“This is beyond devastating. Paul was a hero, a mentor and a friend,” Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Ok. Jha tweeted. “He taught us what global health should be and inspired all of us to do better.”

And actor Edward Norton, a social and environmental activist, known as Farmer “one of the most loving, funny, generous & inspiring people to grace humanity with his soul in our lifetimes.”

Working in Haiti in 1987, Farmer co-founded Partners in Health to assist devise and ship higher health care in poor and badly underserved international locations.

Dr. Jon LaPook experiences on a world ef…


A co-founder and shut longtime affiliate was Jim Yong Kim, who went on to steer the World Bank from 2012 to 2019.  In 2009, Farmer succeeded Kim as chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The similar year he was named a UN deputy particular envoy to Haiti, working with Bill Clinton.

Farmer held that position at the time of the island’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and quickly was headed to Haiti on an airplane filled with physicians.

Farmer, a lifelong advocate for the poor Caribbean nation, co-founded the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

He was editor in chief of the journal Health and Human Rights, and wrote extensively on the juncture of these two fields.

Farmer was additionally chief of the division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts.

He, Kim and one other Partners in Health co-founder, Ophelia Dahl — daughter of British author Roald Dahl and American actress Patricia Neal — are featured in a 2017 documentary, “Bending the Arc.”

In addition to Rwanda and Haiti, Partners in Health works in Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, Russia and Sierra Leone, in addition to in Navajo communities within the United States.

Farmer was married to Didi Bertrand Farmer, a Haitian medical anthropologist.

In 2008, Farmer invited “60 Minutes” to central Haiti, the place he found his life’s work. The invitation meant a three-hour, jaw clenching, enamel rattling trip on an unpaved street from the capital metropolis to the hospital. Watch the video beneath:

Extra: Dr. Farmer on Haiti’s Recovery


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