Paul Farmer, MD, PhD
Medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people. He is Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that since 1987 has provided direct health care services and undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and abroad have pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings.
Dr. Farmer 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, Boston. Additionally, Dr. Farmer serves as the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.
Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Bronislaw Malinowski Award and 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. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, from which he was awarded the 2018 Public Welfare Medal.
David Walton, MD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Build Health International
David Walton, MD, MPH is the CEO & Co-Founder of Build Health International, a Boston-based global healthcare infrastructure non-profit. Dr. Walton is also an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. After obtaining an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, he trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the first Doris and Howard Hiatt Global Health Equity resident.
Dr. Walton’s work has focused on health systems strengthening, improvement and expansion of medical care, and medical infrastructure in resource-poor settings.In the more than 15 years in which he worked with Partners In Health (PIH), a Boston-based non-profit organization, he served numerous roles: clinician, administrative director, liaison to the Ministry of Health of Haiti, and Deputy Director of PIH Haiti. He also led several teams that designed, developed, built, and operationalized three hospitals in central Haiti, including Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), a 300-bed teaching hospital, the largest and most advanced public sector hospital in the country.
As Director of the Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital Project he co-managed a US $25 million construction budget; crafted the layout and design of the hospital and campus; supervised construction; secured over US $7 million in donations; and liaised with the Ministry of Health.As Chief Operating Officer of HUM he created the US $12 million operational plan, developed and implemented systems of governance; creating standard operating procedures; and oversaw development of clinical and non-clinical hospital systems Dr. Walton also managed a team that developed an open-source hospital management information system which has been implemented in over 20 countries.
Dr. Walton has received several awards for his accomplishments in Global Health, more recently the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award and GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100. He has numerous appearances in digital and print media, as well as several publications in the medical literature.He serves on the board of directors of Partners In Health and Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation and is a medical advisor to Globemed and Direct Relief.
Dr. Walton is a seasoned public speaker, consistently delivering papers at medical conferences and speaking regularly with media outlets regarding his research and professional experience within global health arenas.He has engaged with the TedX series and spoken about his work as Clinical Director for Ebola Response with Save the Children in Sierra Leone.More recently, as Co-Founder of Build Health International, Dr. Walton’s work is also examining the role of architecture, engineering and design in successful clinical planning within resource-constrained settings.
For two decades Dr. David Walton has focused on health systems strengthening, systemic improvement and expansion of medical care, and medical infrastructure in resource-poor settings. After obtaining an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, he trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). During his residency he led a team that rebuilt a public Haitian medical center and, two years later, designed and oversaw the construction of a 60-bed hospital in central Haiti.
In 2010, after the 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, he partnered with Jim Ansara to build the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, a 320-bed state-of-the-art facility in the Central Plateau. His administrative roles have included: Director of Centre de Sante Lascohobas, Co-Director of Hôpital de Lacolline, Deputy Director of PIH Haiti, Chief Operating Officer of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, advisor to the Haitian Ministry of Health, Director of Global Health for ThoughtWorks, and most recently CEO of Build Health International.
As Build Health International's CEO & Co-Founder, Dr. Walton currently leads strategic initiatives, engaging in operational research on the built environment in low income countries, and leading the plan for the growth and evolution of BHI.
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Build Health International
Director of Infrastructure, Partners in Health
Chair, Board of Trustees St. Boniface Haiti Foundation
Co-Founder, Ansara Family Fund
Former CEO & Chair, Shawmut Design & Construction
When he started Shawmut Design & Construction in 1982, Jim committed to taking on the most difficult jobs — ones others did not want; to building to the highest standards; to completing projects at reasonable costs; and to supporting his employees and community at every opportunity.
It worked. The winner of numerous local and national awards, Shawmut Design remains one of the most respected, most profitable construction firms in the country, with some of the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits among its clients.
When he sold the firm to his employees in 2005, he and his wife Karen used the profits to co-found the Ansara Family Fund to end global poverty. Since then, the Fund has supported locally developed projects in Haiti, Nepal, and elsewhere.
Soon after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated much of Haiti In 2010, however, they got a call from colleagues there. That emergency request — to restore power to the few health centers still standing — led to a new, even bolder commitment: to help rebuild the island’s health infrastructure, no matter how long it took.
Assembling a dedicated and skilled crew, including volunteers, Jim contracted with Partners in Health and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation to build the first two of several planned projects in Haiti: PIH’s University Hospital in Mirebalais and SBHF’s Maternal and Neonatal Health Center. The hospital especially is noteworthy. Its catchment area is 185,000 residents of rural Haiti; it is a teaching hospital for Haitian nurses and doctors and it is the largest solar-powered hospital in the world.
In 2013, Jim established Build Health International as a nonprofit to continue the work in Haiti and elsewhere. With much donated labor and materials, BHI has been able to replicate Shawmut’s operational model: work lean, work green, and bring the project in on budget and on time. Just as important, by using local materials and training area residents in construction and repair techniques, BHI ensures that the project can be maintained and services sustained.
What’s next? In the planning stage are more projects in Haiti as well as in Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
From Left: Ansara, Farmer and Walton with Partners In Health Co-Founder, Ophelia Dahl at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in 2015.