Ben Grant, Liberia Program Director at Last Mile Health, read the following remarks at a memorial honoring Dr. Paul Farmer’s life and legacy in Monrovia, Liberia on February 28, 2022.
The Last Mile Health family shares our condolences to Dr. Farmer’s family, Partners In Health, and the Liberia and global health communities today.
However, we are honored to be here today at this service in Liberia to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Paul Farmer.
Last Mile Health would not be the organization we are today without Paul. Our co-founder Dr. Raj Panjabi met Paul when he was a medical student. Raj shared his dream of returning to his country to provide healthcare, especially in remote areas.
Paul supported his dream, urging Raj to meet patients where they are and serving them with dignity.
Paul also said, “Do what you love, but commit to it over the long-term — measured by decades, not years — and do it with many others.”
This advice inspired our team to launch a community health worker program in remote Konobo District to reach patients who were being left behind. And then it inspired us to think bigger, working with so many of you here to scale Liberia’s first national CHW program with the Ministry of Health.
But the work is not done. Too many patients are still denied the human right to health, so we continue the fight, together.
To the Farmer family and the Liberia and global health community, as you mourn the loss of your relative and a hero in global health, please reflect on Paul’s legacy – a movement committed to transforming health systems over the long term to better serve patients with dignity. While together we grieve the loss of Paul, I know we continue to be driven by his values of love and justice.
There’s never been a more important time to work towards Paul’s vision for the world. And I know his wisdom and teachings will always accompany us on the journey.
Please accept our profound sympathies, and may Paul’s soul rest in perfect peace and may light perpetually shine upon him