April 29, 2018 - Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, and humanitarian, received the 2018 NAS Public Welfare Medal. Farmer’s lifelong pursuit of providing health care to some of the world’s poorest people began when he was an undergraduate at Duke University, where he worked with displaced Haitian farmers. Appalled by the lack of health care he witnessed while volunteering in Haiti as a medical student, Farmer co-founded Partners In Health (PIH) in 1987. At the time, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis were rampant in Haiti, and many public health experts were deeply skeptical about whether it was possible to provide quality health care in a country with many challenges and few resources. Farmer and his colleagues developed novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrated that these and other common diseases can be treated appropriately in resource-poor settings. He also played an important role in mobilizing funding to pay for these therapies. PIH’s innovative model of community-based care delivery and providing access to world-class medicines has saved countless lives and is now being duplicated around the world. More recently, in the wake of the devastating 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Farmer and PIH initiated health care programs in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Additionally, PIH recently launched the University of Global Health Equity, a new health sciences institution in rural Rwanda, to train the next generation of African health professionals and global health care leaders. The NAS Public Welfare Medal is the Academy's most prestigious award and is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Over the past 100 years the NAS Public Welfare Medal has continued to recognize those individuals who have worked tirelessly to promote science for the benefit of humanity.