Dr. Paul Farmer wins $1M Berggruen prize

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The Berggruen Prize Jury selected Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, as the recipient of its 2020 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture, a distinction that comes with a $1 million award. 

The jury announced its selection of Dr. Farmer Dec. 16 for his global efforts to strengthen medical care systems in resource-poor communities. 

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Farmer has worked on treatments for some of the world's most complex diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS. He is co-founder of Partners in Health, a Boston-based nonprofit working to improve global public health infrastructures in poor communities. 

Dr. Farmer's previous work with the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa served him and his partners in developing Massachusetts' COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative which has been replicated across the country. 

"He has reshaped our understanding not just of what it means to be sick or healthy, but also of what it means to treat health as a human right and the ethical and political obligations that follow," said Kwame Anthony Appiah, PhD, chair of the prize jury. 

Dr. Farmer is the fifth winner of the Berggruen Prize and follows former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was recognized last year for her lifelong gender equality battle. The Berggruen Institute's award is conferred annually by an independent jury to "a thinker whose ideas are shaping human self-understanding to advance humankind."

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Dec. 16
1st pediatric flu death of season reported: 5 notes from CDC's FluView report
23 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Dec. 16

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