Dr. Paul Farmer: Mourning His Passing & Honoring His Legacy

“The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right.” — Dr. Paul Farmer

February 21, 2022

We’re devastated by the news that Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners In Health (PIH) and devoted health equity champion, passed away in his sleep in Rwanda today. As our team mourns, we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and fellow advocates in the movement to realize health as a human right for all.  

“Dr. Farmer is one of the few people who gave GHC a chance at our founding, making our mission credible to many skeptics. He has been a devoted mentor and friend to us and countless others for the past two decades.” – Barbara Bush, Co-Founder & former CEO, GHC & Jean René Shema, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Rwanda Country Director, GHC

Dr. Farmer is a longtime member of GHC’s Board of Advisors and has supported and inspired hundreds of GHC leaders as a Training Institute speaker and mentor. He also co-founded The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Butaro, which has become another deeply valued GHC placement organization and partner. 

We are indebted to Dr. Farmer’s bold vision and collaborative approach to advancing health equity. His mantra that “the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world” is a rallying cry for the GHC community. From mobilizing COVID-19 response to training community health workers in Rwanda, Malawi, and the U.S., GHC, PIH, and UGHE have worked together to advance health equity in countless ways over the past 13 years. 

“In the wake of his passing, we vow to honor Dr. Farmer’s legacy through deepening our longstanding partnerships with PIH and UGHE, continuing to inject talented young leaders in critical roles and mobilizing a sea change towards more equitable health systems.” – Heather Anderson, CEO, Global Health Corps