Physician and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer will receive an honorary degree from Macalester College on Tue., Sept. 14, 2010. He is also speaking to the campus community at opening convocation that day.

“I can think of few individuals whose life’s work more clearly reflects Macalester’s values of intellectual inquiry, internationalism, multiculturalism, and service,” said Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg. “We are honored to welcome him to our campus and to bestow upon him an honorary degree.”

Farmer has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest people. He is a founding director of Partners In Health, an international non-profit organization that since 1987 has provided direct health care services and undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty.

“Macalester College has a rich and long tradition of reaching out to understand and improve the world around it, locally, nationally, and globally,” said Farmer. “I am proud to be honored by the college in this way.”

Farmer holds a PhD from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School, where he is the Presley Professor of Social Medicine and the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, he’s chief of the Division of Global Health Equity. Farmer is also the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy and former President Bill Clinton.

Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. His most recent book is Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader. Other titles include Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, The Uses of Haiti, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame. Tracy Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, chronicles the development of Farmer’s work in Haiti and beyond.

September 10 2010

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