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The Paul Farmer Symposium on Global Health Equity

The Uses of Haiti: Paul Farmer and the Origins of the Global Health Equity Movement


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Join us here on November 13 for the Paul Farmer Symposium on Global Health Equity—The Uses of Haiti: Paul Farmer and the Origins of the Global Health Equity Movement.

Paul’s experience in Haiti greatly shaped his intellectual and moral understanding of the world. Haiti has long been a force in the movement for global health equity—from being the first free Black republic to being the place where HIV community-based care was proven possible. It is the home of lessons learned, philosophies and care delivery models developed, and where Haitian global health professionals continue to shape the global health landscape.

We will hear from experts, thought leaders, and Paul’s colleagues and friends on the importance of Haiti and how Paul’s vision and legacy remain vibrant today, in Haiti and globally.  

November 13, 2023 

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

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 1:30 p.m.  Welcome

1:45 p.m.  Panel: Haiti’s Impact on Paul Farmer 

2:35 p.m.  Panel: Haiti’s Influence in the World 

3:30 p.m.  Keynote: Haiti's Ability to Inspire

Program Descriptions

Haiti’s Impact on Paul Farmer panel discussion

Paul first traveled to Haiti at the age of 23. Haiti served as a continual teacher throughout Paul’s career, educating him on the destructive power of poverty, the central tenets of social medicine, and so much more. We will reflect on what Haiti taught Paul in the early years and how it continued to shape Paul’s scholarship, clinical practice, and understanding of the world and global health throughout his life.   

Featuring Dr. Arthur Kleinman, Dr. Haun Saussy, and Loune Viaud, with Dr. Anne Becker moderating.

Haiti’s Influence in the World panel discussion

The distinct approach of the Global Health Delivery Partnership Paul assembled between Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Partners In Health is, at heart, Haitian-born. Haiti is where Paul learned about the transformative power of community accompaniment, and it is where Zanmi Lasante, as PIH is known in Haiti, disproved the mainstream global health community time and again, reimagining what was necessary and possible for patients in poor countries. This collective work has had a global impact, as many Haitian leaders have branched out beyond Haiti’s borders to advance Paul’s vision of a preferential option for the poor in health care. We will discuss key moments when Haiti shaped the landscape of global health and how it continues to do so both domestically and globally. 

Featuring Marc Julmisse, Dr. Michelle Morse, and Dr. Joel Mubiligi, with Dr. Joia Mukherjee moderating.

Haiti’s Ability to Inspire

Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis will share how Haiti acts as inspiration in the world at large today.



Dr. Anne BeckerDean for Clinical and Academic Affairs, Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Anne E. Becker, MD, PhD, SM is Dean for Clinical and Academic Affairs, Professor of Psychiatry, and Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). A medical anthropologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Becker’s research includes the social and cultural mediation of presentation and risk for eating disorders, social barriers to care for mental disorders, and school-based mental health promotion. She has led investigations of the impact of rapid social transition on eating pathology in Fiji’s indigenous iTaukei population and has served as co-principal investigator on school-based mental health interventions in Haiti and Lebanon. In addition to authoring or co-authoring over 150 publications in the scientific literature, Dr. Becker is the author of Body, Self, and Society: The View from Fiji (U. Penn Press) and co-editor of Global Mental Health Training and Practice: An Introductory Framework (Routledge). Dr. Becker is founding and past Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, former vice chair of the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and past president of the Academy for Eating Disorders. She served as a member of the American Psychiatry Association’s DSM-5 Eating Disorders Work Group; she is former associate editor for global initiatives of the International Journal of Eating Disorders and past co editor-in-chief of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.


Dr. Sheila Davis—Chief Executive Officer, Partners In Health

Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Northeastern University in 1988. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 1997, as well as a Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a concentration in global health in 2008 from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Davis was a faculty member at the School of Nursing at the MGH Institute of Health Professions for four years and an Adult Nurse Practitioner at the MGH Infectious Diseases outpatient practice for over 15 years. She was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2008 and, in 2009, was selected as a member of the inaugural class of 12 Carl Wilkens Fellows contributing to global anti-genocide efforts as part of the Genocide Intervention Network. She completed a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship from 2012 to 2015. Dr. Davis has co-authored publications in leading medical journals, including The Lancet, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, and the International Journal of Nursing Studies, among others. Dr. Davis currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Partners In Health, a global health organization rooted in social justice. She previously held multiple leadership positions at PIH, including Chief of Ebola Response, Chief of Clinical Operations, and Chief Nursing Officer. 


Claudine Gay, Ph.D.President of Harvard University and Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government and of African and African-American Studies, Harvard University 

Claudine Gay became the 30th president of Harvard University on July 1, 2023. In her inaugural address, Gay shared her vision for a vibrant, diverse university community, ready to meet the world’s most pressing challenges with courage.   Prior to becoming president, Gay spent five years leading Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences as the Edgerley Family Dean, where she guided efforts to expand student access and opportunity, spur excellence and innovation in teaching and research, enhance aspects of the FAS’s academic culture, and bring new emphasis to areas such as quantum science and engineering; climate change; ethnicity, indigeneity, and migration; and the humanities. She successfully led the FAS through the COVID pandemic, consistently and effectively prioritizing the dual goals of safeguarding community health and sustaining academic continuity and progress.  Gay is a leading scholar of political behavior and issues of race and politics in America. She is founding chair of the Inequality in America Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort launched in 2017. Gay first joined the Harvard faculty in 2006 as a professor of government. She was appointed professor of African and African American Studies in 2007 and named the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government in 2015.    Before joining the Harvard faculty, Gay was on the faculty at Stanford University. She earned a B.A. in economics from Stanford, and a Ph.D. in government at Harvard.  


Dr. Louise Ivers—Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health; Professor of Medicine and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; David Bangsberg MD, MPH Endowed Chair in Global Health Equity at Massachusetts General Hospital 

Dr. Louise Ivers is the Executive Director of the Center for Global Health and the David Bangsberg MD, MPH Endowed Chair in Global Health Equity at Mass General Hospital. She is the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute and a Professor of Medicine and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ivers is a practicing physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mass General. She works on the design, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale public health programs in resource-limited settings with the goal of achieving health equity.   Dr. Ivers has spent her career providing care to the rural and urban poor, as well as engaged in patient-oriented investigation that offers solutions to barriers to healthcare. She has worked on healthcare delivery in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. She was based in Haiti and served as Clinical Director and then Chief of Mission for Partners In Health, Haiti from 2003 until 2012, while also serving as a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; designed and implemented HIV/TB programs; and led responses to the major earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and a major cholera epidemic. From 2015-2017, she was a member of the executive leadership team at Partners In Health, responsible for global strategic implementation.   In addition to expanding access to healthcare for the poor, Dr. Ivers has contributed to published research articles on HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, and cholera treatment and prevention. She is an independently-funded investigator focused on the barriers to the delivery of healthcare, the impact of food insecurity on public health, and comprehensive ways to eliminate cholera. Dr. Ivers is also involved in global policy and advocacy work to improve health equity. She has served as an Advisor to the WHO and the Haitian Ministry of Health, and is a delegate to the Global Task Force for Cholera Control at the WHO. She has collaborated with U.S. government; EU; multilateral, non-governmental organizations; and private industry partners. She mentors physicians and students in global health implementation and research. She is the editor of a textbook on food insecurity and public health, and over 100 published papers and chapters on global health issues.   Dr. Ivers is a graduate of University College Dublin, Ireland where she received both her professional medical degrees, and a research doctorate in medicine. She completed residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the combined Harvard Infectious Diseases program. Dr. Ivers earned a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. 


Marc Julmisse—Interim Executive Director, Zanmi Lasante 

Marc Julmisse is the Interim Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante (ZL) in Haiti. Marc has been an   instrumental leader in the growth and success of ZL as Chief Nursing Officer at the Hospital   Universite de Mirebalais (HUM), where she led nursing services for over 400 staff members and   developed systems for enhanced nursing clinical practice across all services at HUM.     While in this role, Marc was promoted to Partners in Health (PIH) Deputy Chief Nursing Officer,   where she has since supported the global nursing strategy to strengthen and advance nursing   and midwifery across all care delivery sites. Marc also served as the Deputy Chief Operations   Officer at HUM. Serving in this role for over four years, Marc has demonstrated exceptional   leadership in driving strategic clinical, financial, and operational vision, and has been an integral   force in ensuring the highest quality care for patients across all ZL-supported facilities.     Marc has been a fearless leader in ZL's earthquake response, where she has led the team to   develop a strategy and scope of work, and ensure nimble and comprehensive response to   patient and partner needs, despite COVID-19 and ongoing challenges.     Prior to joining ZL and PIH, Marc served as the Medical Education Program Coordinator and   Chief of Party for Adventist Health International-Haiti. With almost two decades of experience   working in the nursing profession, Marc has been a strong voice and force for nurses all over   the world, helping to provide health services to those without access.  


Dr. Arthur Kleinman—Rabb Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University; Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School 

Arthur Kleinman, MD, author of The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor (Penguin/Viking 2019), is one of the most renowned and influential scholars and writers on psychiatry, anthropology, global health, and cultural and humanistic issues in medicine. Educated at Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, Kleinman has taught at Harvard for over forty years. He is currently a professor of global health and social medicine and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He has been the Victor and William Fung Director of Harvard University’s Asia Center (2008 – 2016); Chair, Department of Social Medicine (1990-2000); and Chair, Department of Anthropology (2004-2007).  Kleinman is the author of six other books, including The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition, widely taught in medical schools. His co-edited volumes include Reimagining Global Health with the late Paul Farmer and Jim Kim, his former students. He was the senior editor of the first World Mental Health Report. Kleinman is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a past member of NIH’s Council of Councils and of the Council of the Fogarty International Center. Amongst his awards are the Franz Boas Award from the American Anthropological Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Tanner Lectures, and an Honorary Doctorate from York University in Canada. Kleinman is currently directing a project on Social Technology for Global Aging and Eldercare in China that involves faculty and students from six of Harvard's schools as well as a number of his former students who are professors in China.  


Dr. Michelle Morse—Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Co-founder of EqualHealth; Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School; Part-Time Hospitalist, Kings County Hospital

Dr. Michelle Morse is the inaugural Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness (CHECW) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), where she leads the agency’s work in bridging public health and health care to reduce health inequities, guiding CHECW’s place-based and cross-cutting health equity programs, and serving as a key liaison to clinicians and clinical leaders across New York City.   Dr. Morse is an internal medicine and public health doctor who works to achieve health equity through global solidarity, social medicine and anti-racism education, and activism. She is a general internal medicine physician, part-time hospitalist at Kings County Hospital, Co-Founder of EqualHealth, and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.    Dr. Morse’s continued commitment to advancing health equity and justice is informed by her experience in leadership roles as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Heath, as a Soros Equality Fellow launching a global Campaign Against Racism, and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy fellow with the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Dr. Joel M. Mubiligi—Chief Innovation and Growth Planning Officer, Partners In Health 

Dr. Joel Muhoza Mubiligi is the new PIH Chief Innovation and Growth Planning Officer. In this role, He works in close partnership with leaders across the organization to promote a results-based management culture that focuses on strategy development. Dr. Joel is also the Interim Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, a position he has held since November 2022. He holds a medical degree from the University of Rwanda, a master's in science in Global Public Health from the Queen Mary University of London, and a diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also an alumnus of the International Program in Public Health Leadership at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Joel is also a faculty and board member of the University of Global Health Equity. Prior to his current position as PIH Chief Innovation and Growth,  Dr. Joel served as the Executive Director of Partners In Health in Rwanda (PIH/IMB) for the previous five years,  where he provided strategic leadership, oversaw the implementation of healthcare programs and initiatives in Rwanda, cultivated partnership with Government agencies and maximize program impact. Prior to the Executive Director role, he was the PIH/IMB Chief Medical where he coordinated all clinical service innovations and implementation research in three districts that serve a catchment area of close to 1 million people and supported the translation of best practices in the area of non-communicable diseases, mental health, Maternal and child health and Oncology into national policies and protocols. Dr. Joel has also served as the Medical Advisor to the Ministry of Health’s National Human Resources for Health program, where he supported the government's efforts to improve the medical training programs at the University of Rwanda in collaboration with more than 20 U.S. institutions. 


Dr. Joia Mukherjee—Chief Medical Officer, Partners In Health; Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Director, Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery, HMS in Global Medical Education and Social Change; Associate Professor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health Equity

Dr. Joia Mukherjee is a physician, educator, and activist trained in Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and public health. Since 2000, Dr. Mukherjee has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health, an international medical organization with programs in the United States, Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Kazakhstan, the Navajo Nation and now, in the COVID-19 pandemic, in cities and states across the U.S. Dr. Mukherjee coordinates and supports PIH’s efforts to provide high quality, comprehensive health care to the poorest and most vulnerable. She is an Associate Professor at the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mukherjee is also on the faculty at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. Joia teaches infectious disease, global health delivery, and human rights to health professionals and students from around the world and directs the Masters degree program in Global Health Delivery at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of Introduction to Global Health Delivery: Practice, Equity, Human Rights, second edition, published in 2021 by Oxford University Press. Her scholarship focuses on health delivery, Universal Health Coverage, and human rights. Joia is a mother and a singer. 


Dr. Vikram Patel—Paul Farmer Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School 

Vikram Patel is the Paul Farmer Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In addition to his role as department chair and his teaching commitments, Dr. Patel leads the Mental Health for All Lab at Harvard. His work has focused on the burden of mental health problems, their association with social disadvantage, and the use of community resources for their prevention and treatment.   Dr. Patel is a co-founder of the Centre for Global Mental Health (at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and Sangath, an Indian NGO which won the MacArthur Foundation’s International Prize and the WHO Public Health Champion of India prize. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences and member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He served on the committee that drafted India’s first National Mental Health Policy and the WHO High Level Independent Commission for Non-Communicable Diseases. Dr. Patel also co-led the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health & Sustainable Development and the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on Depression; he serves as co-chair of the Lancet Citizens Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System.   He has been awarded the Chalmers Medal (Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene); the Sarnat Prize (National Academy of Medicine); the Pardes Humanitarian Prize (the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation); the Klerman Senior Investigator Prize (the Depression and Bipolar Disorder Alliance); an Honorary OBE (UK Government); and the John Dirk Canada Gairdner Award in Global Health. Dr. Patel has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Georgetown University, York University, Stellenbosch University, and the University of Amsterdam. In 2015, he was named in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list as a “Pioneer.” 


Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis—Former Prime Minister of Haiti; Professor at the Université Quisqueya, Haiti; President, FOKAL 

Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis was Prime Minister of Haiti in 2008-2009. Upon leaving office, she returned to the foundation she created in 1995, Fondation Connaissance et Liberté – FOKAL. She is FOKAL’s President, coordinating special projects in Sustainable Development and Higher Education. Pierre-Louis is also professor at Université Quisqueya, Haiti. She holds a master’s degree in economics from Queens College, NY, and two Doctorate Honoris Causa in Humanities from St Michael College and the University of San Francisco. In 2010, she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.   A member of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Pierre-Louis is a founding member of the Haitian/Caribbean Review “Chemins Critiques” in which she has published many articles on politics, gender issues, economics, arts & culture. She has contributed to several books and reviews about Haiti. She is Board Chair of Le Centre d’art, of CPFO, and of the Caribbean Culture Fund.   Recipient of the French Legion of Honor, 2023; the 2020 Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Award, Reykjavik Global Forum of Women’s Leaders; the Order of Leopold, Belgium, 2018; and the Gran Oficial Ordem de Rio Branco (Brazil) in 2010. In 2021, she was among Apolitical’ s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy. 


Dr. Joseph Rhatigan—Chief, Brigham & Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health Equity; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rhatigan is Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Director of the Hiatt Global Health Equity Residency Program. Dr. Rhatigan graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he practices hospital medicine.  He has held several leadership positions in post-graduate medical education. His work examines the delivery of health services in low-resource settings through case studies. He has developed and teaches a course on the principles of global health care delivery at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and co-directs Harvard’s summer intensive program in Global Health Delivery. 

Haun Saussy—University Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations and Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago 

Haun Saussy is University Professor at the University of Chicago, teaching in the department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations and in the Committee on Social Thought. His work attempts to bring the lessons of anthropology and rhetoric to bear on several periods, languages, disciplines, and cultures. Among his books are Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (2010), The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse (2001), The Ethnography of Rhythm (2016), Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (2017), Are We Comparing Yet? (2019), The Making of Barbarians: Chinese Literature in Multilingual Asia (2022) and the edited collections Sinographies (2007) and Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2008). As translator, he has produced versions of works by Jean Métellus (When the Pipirite Sings, 2019) and Tino Caspanello (Bounds, 2020), among others. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   


Loune Viaud—Chief Gender and Social Equity Officer, Partners In Health 

Loune G. Viaud is the Chief Gender and Social Equity Officer for Partners in Health (PIH). For over three decades, Loune has worked with PIH and Zanmi Lasante (ZL) in various leadership roles including Deputy Executive Director and Executive Director, respectively. Under her leadership, ZL became one of Haiti's largest non-government healthcare providers. After the 2010 earthquake, Dr. Paul Farmer, Loune Viaud, and friends founded a children’s home for 64 physically and developmentally disabled children on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, named Zanmi Beni.    Viaud’s accomplishments are long. In the 90’s, she pioneered Central Haiti’s first women’s health center and implemented women’s literacy projects, a scholarship program for girls, and a gender-awareness curriculum for training health care personnel. Viaud received a Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission in 2000, The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2002, and honored by many communities in Haiti over the years. In 2011, Loune received an honorary law degree from Regis College.   In April of 2019, Loune was the first ever Haitian civilian woman to address The United Nations (UN) Security Council on the state of women and children in Haiti.  


The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Partners In Health