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Paul Farmer Chosen as the 2012 Recipient of the Forrest Church Award

Wednesday, October 19, 2011





New York, October 19, 2011 - Medical anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Forrest Church Award.  The award will be presented at the 23rd annual gala of The Heart & Soul Charitable Fund, on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at Christie's Auction House in New York City.

The award is given to an individual who demonstrates a capacity for moral courage and selflessness while working towards the betterment of our world.  Former recipients of the award include the 2011 honoree, the Hon. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York; former U.S. President Bill Clinton; and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Award is named for the late Rev. Dr. Forrest Church: author, humanitarian, and senior minister of All Souls Unitarian/Universalist Church on New York's Upper East Side for over 30 years.   Dr. Church led his congregation with a sense of moral purpose and dedication to public service, which was an inspiration to the congregants, and to the UU faith at large.  He was a familiar presence-from the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times to his appearances on PBS-and his legacy of humanitarianism is an inspiration to many.

Dr. Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to improving the health of the world's poorest people.  He is the founding director of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit that since 1987 has provided direct health care services to and advocated on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty worldwide.  Starting with a one-building clinic in Haiti's Central Plateau, Partners In Health has grown to become a multi-national organization operating in twelve sites throughout Haiti and twelve additional countries around the world.  It has become a model for community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings.

Dr. Farmer is the subject of Tracy Kidder's 2003 book, Mountains Beyond Mountains. In his actions and personal commitment to bettering the lives of those less fortunate, Dr Farmer's example has served as a guidepost to effective, rational, trans-national action against a host of infectious diseases, and the greater problem of delivering quality health-care in the developing world.

Dr. Farmer was born in New England and raised in the Southern United States.  He attended Duke University as an undergraduate, and holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is the Kolokotrones University Professor and the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; he is also Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Farmer is also the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality.  His most recent book is Haiti After the Earthquake.  Other titles include Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor; The Uses of Haiti: Infections and Inequalities; AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame; and Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader.

Dr. Farmer is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award from the American Medical Association, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and, with his PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

Dr. Farmer will accept the award in person at the event, scheduled on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at Christie's Auction House in New York.

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth Fairfax Brown, Executive Director

The Heart & Soul Charitable Fund, Inc.


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