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Physician and humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer will deliver 2017 Commencement Address

Dr. Paul FarmerA physician, anthropologist and humanitarian who has devoted his life to the care of people living in underserved rural areas around the globe will deliver the commencement address at Creighton Universityís 2017 Commencement Exercises.

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, is co-founder of Partners in Health, an international social justice and health organization making inroads to providing sustainable health care in developing countries. He will speak at both Creightonís morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies, Saturday, May 13.

Farmerís journey began in Haiti in 1987, where he and Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim, Thomas J. White and Todd McCormack founded PIH while working as medical missionaries in Cange on Haitiís Central Plateau. In the 30 years since its founding, the organization is active on five continents and counts a staff of 18,000. A book by Farmer was one of the guiding texts on a 2016 Creighton Faculty-Led Programs Abroad trip to Haiti.

Using medicine and a medical anthropologist's approach, Farmer has expanded direct health care services for people living in poverty and has undertaken extensive research looking at the treatment of illness for society's most vulnerable.

Currently the Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University, where he earned his medical degree and doctor of philosophy in medical anthropology, Farmer is also an attending physician and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Womenís Hospital in Boston. Farmer is also editor-in-chief of Health and Human Rights Journal and is the United Nations Secretary-Generalís Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine Development and Affordability.

Overseeing PIH initiatives in Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi and Peru, Farmer continues to help operate the original PIH hospital in Haiti, where patients are helped with treatments to battle pernicious diseases including tuberculosis and AIDS.

Farmer has also served on the boards of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (which he also co-founded), the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, and the Madagascar-based PIVOT. Farmer also serves on the Advisory Board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an international student-driven advocacy organization that works on issues of medicine development and affordability.

Farmer is the 2016 recipient of the Bronislaw Malinowski Award, given annually since 1973 by the Society for Applied Anthropology to a scholar whose life's work has been to apply the social sciences to contemporary issues.

He has also been bestowed the MacArthur Fellowship, the Heinz Award in the Human Condition, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the American Medical Associationís Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine, and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.

In his 2003 New York Times Notable Book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, author Tracy Kidder details Farmerís efforts at building sustainable clinical models while also working in research and advocating for democracy. The book is subtitled, The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.

Creighton also offers an undergraduate and graduate program in medical anthropology. Learn more here.

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