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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

“Haiti Health and Human Rights: Disaster relief and long-term partnerships in the developing world”

Public Health Activist and Partners in Health Medical Director at Macalester April 6

Joia Mukherjee

March 23, 2010 – St. Paul, Minn.– A physician and leading public health activist who helped establish a network providing health care for the poor in Haiti and other nations will speak at Macalester College at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, in the Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons.

Joia Mukherjee, medical director of Partners in Health (PIH) and director of its Institute for Health and Social Justice, will talk about “Haiti, Health and Human Rights: Disaster relief and long-term partnerships in the developing world.”

Established in 1987, PIH is an international medical nonprofit that delivers health care in rural Haiti as well as Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Russia, inner-city Boston, Mexico, and Guatemala.  PIH has been at the center of medical relief efforts following the earthquake in January, and Mukherjee spent 10 days there providing and coordinating care immediately after the quake.

She and fellow physicians Paul Farmer and Fernet Leandre have established a program in rural Haiti to treat patients with HIV infection using highly active antiretroviral therapy. This program, the first of its kind in a developing country, became a model for the World Health Organization and other global AIDS initiatives.

Mukherjee is an attending physician at both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her medical degree at the University of Minnesota and trained in infectious disease, internal medicine, and pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. She also earned a master’s in public health at Harvard, where she teaches social medicine and infectious disease to medical students, residents, and fellows.   

She consults for the World Health Organization and is a member of the executive board of Health Action AIDS, a campaign conducted with Physicians for Human Rights to engage US health professionals in international advocacy and education aimed at stopping the global AIDS pandemic.

Her talk, sponsored by Macalester Program in Community and Global Health, Mellon Curricular Pathways Program and Campus FaceAIDS, Macalester, and is free and open to the public.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.

Boston Globe interview