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Dr. Paul Farmer to Speak at UVM Aiken Lecture Series Nov. 3

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Dr. Paul Farmer, chief strategist and co-founder of Partners in Health, will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 George D. Aiken Lecture Series on Nov. 3 at the UVM Ira Allen Chapel.

Nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Farmer helped found Partners in Health to provide free medical care in central Haiti. Today, Partners in Health teams up with local groups to treat people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other conditions in Haiti and countries around the world.

Dr. Farmer is a physician and anthropologist, and has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. He has spent his career working to improve healthcare around the globe, because he believes “health is a right, not a commodity.” He says the biggest barrier to health care equity is a failure of imagination.

“It is an honor and privilege to welcome Dr. Farmer to UVM,” said UVM College of Arts and Sciences Dean William A. Falls, PhD, professor of psychological science. “His work has advanced the cause of social justice and health care across the globe, and his presence on campus will amplify our efforts to inspire our students to be responsible global citizens.”

Dr. Farmer is the Kolokotrones University professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African Nobel Peace laureate, calls Dr. Farmer “One of the great advocates for the poorest and sickest of our planet.”

The UVM Aiken Lecture Series

Each year, the Aiken Lecture rotates between Governor Aiken’s primary areas of interest in public service and is hosted annually by the corresponding college at the University: the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; the Rubinstein School of Environment and Natural Resources; and the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences is hosting this year’s event in collaboration with The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at UVM.

The event is supported by an endowment created by George and Lola Aiken. A permanent tribute to the Dean of the United State Senate and Governor of Vermont for his many years of service to the people of the state and the nation, the lectures, which began in 1975, provide a platform for distinctive views on critical issues and is the University’s major annual public-policy forum.

The Aiken Lecture Series will be at the UVM Ira Allen Chapel at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the University Medical Center at 1 South Prospect Street after 5 p.m. Learn more at