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Humanitarian Paul Famer to Deliver U of U Tanner Lecture on Human Values

March 8, 2005 — Medical anthropologist, physician and humanitarian Paul Farmer will give this year’s University of Utah Tanner Lecture on Human Values, titled “Can Human Rights Survive? Reflections on Inequality and Modernity,” on Wednesday, March 30, at 8 p.m., in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts’ Dumke Auditorium, 370 S. 1530 E. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Farmer’s lecture will accompany two days of panels and public discussions on March 30 and 31. Local experts will discuss human rights and health care issues relating to infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and the general state of health care in Utah and in the United States. These discussions, also free and open to the public, will be held in the U of U Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium, 295 S. 1500 E., and at the new Salt Lake City Library, 210 E. 400 S. (See schedule below.)

Farmer has dedicated his life to treating some of the world’s poorest populations and has, in the process, helped to raise the standard of health care in underdeveloped areas of the world. He is a founding director of Partners In Health, an international charity organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. A world-renowned authority on tuberculosis treatment and control, Farmer has received numerous humanitarian awards. His work draws primarily on active clinical practice and focuses on diseases that disproportionately afflict the poor. Farmer is an attending physician in infectious diseases and Chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is also the medical director of the Clinique Bon Sauveur hospital in rural Haiti. In 1986 Farmer helped found Zanmi Lasante (Creole for Partners In Health), which has grown from a one-building clinic in the village of Cange to a multi-service health complex that includes a primary school, an infirmary, a surgery wing, a pharmacy, a blood bank, a training program for health outreach workers, a 104-bed hospital, a women’s clinic, and a pediatric care facility. Zanmi Lasante has pioneered the treatment of both multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV in Haiti.

Author or co-author of over 100 scholarly publications, Farmer’s research and writing stem in large part from work in Haiti and Peru, and from clinical and teaching activities. Farmer is the subject of “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World” (Random House, 2003), by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder.

Appointment as a Tanner lecturer is recognition for uncommon achievement and outstanding abilities in the field of human values. Lecturers are selected from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, religion, the humanities, the sciences, the creative arts and learned professions, or because of leadership in public or private affairs. The purpose of the Tanner Lectures is to advance and reflect upon scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values. This intention embraces the entire range of values pertinent to the human condition, interest, behavior and aspiration. Each lecture is published in an annual volume.

Panel Discussions with Paul Farmer

“Health, Poverty, and Human Rights in Utah”
Wednesday, March 30, 2-4 p.m.
Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library, U of U Campus, 295 S. 1500 E.,
Moderator: Doug Fabrizio, host of KUER’s “Radio West”
Participants: Dr. Mara Rabin, medical director, Utah Health and Human Rights Project, Salt Lake Family Health Center; Dr. Adi Gundlapalli, medical director, Wasatch Homeless Health Care, Inc.; Dr. Lillian Tom-Orme, U of U Family and Preventive Medicine, diabetes and Native American health issues

“Paul Farmer and His Work”
Thursday, March 31, 10 a.m. – Noon
Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library, U of U Campus
Moderator: Margaret P. Battin, U of U philosophy professor
Participants: Dr. DeVon Hale, U of U School of Medicine; U of U Political Science Professor Robert Huefner; U of U Anthropology Professor Pauline Wiessner; Duke University English Professor Priscilla Wald

“Surviving AIDS: Geography and Policy”
Thursday, March 31, 7-9 p.m.
Salt Lake City Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 S.
Moderator: Dr. Jay Jacobson, U of U School of Medicine and director, Center for Medical Ethics at LDS Hospital
Participants: Mayor Rocky Anderson (welcome and introduction); Dr. Robert Rolfs, Utah State Epidemiologist, Utah Department of Health; Pat Christen, president, Hope Lab; former president, The Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation; Jon Weisberg, former senior public relations executive, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and “Secure the Future” AIDS relief initiative in Southern Africa