Mission: Our mission is a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. We draw on the resources of the world''s leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world''s poorest and sickest communities. At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professionals, scholars, and activists will do whatever it takes to make them well- just as we would do if a member of our own families, or we ourselves, were ill.
Programs: Established in 1987, PIH provides technical and financial assistance, medical supplies, and administrative support to partner projects in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic, and Boston. The goal of these partnerships is neither charity nor development but rather "pragmatic solidarity" - a commitment to work alongside the destitute sick against the economic and political structures that cause and perpetuate poverty and illness. PIH believes that health care is a fundamental right, not a privilege.The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Through service, training, advocacy, and research, we seek to raise the standard of care for the destitute sick everywhere.
Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yoon Kim, and Ophelia Dahl began Partners in Health in Haiti in 1987, extended its services to Peru and then Rwanda. Now its work against Antibiotic Resistant TB benefits the world. I learned about this great nonprofit through Tracy Kidder's book "Mountains Beyond Mountains". Kidder tells the beginnings of this organization--as Farmer, a young student at Harvard Medical School, turned an internship project into a lasting series of health clinics to provide a "preferential option for the poor in health care". PIH uses its resources frugally and still links its permanent staff with leading medical professionals. The website PIH.org states "At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidahttp://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/write/partners-in-health-a-nonprofit-corporation#rity, rather than charity alone".
I was an intern last summer (2009) at PIH. I became a supporter of the organization several years ago upon reading a few of Paul Farmer's books. (I highly recommend "Infections and Inequalities".) In the past, I have volunteered and worked with several non-profit agencies in the U.S. but I can affirm this group of wonderfully talented people are among the best, if not the very best, in the field of health and social justice. Please find out more about them and I know you will become a strong supporter.