Our Story

When Dr. Paul Farmer, Co-Founder and Chief-Strategist of PIH, began his work in some of the world’s most marginalized regions, he realized quickly that the traditional scope of health care did not and could not apply. Without consideration of the cultures, the geopolitical structures, and the intrinsic ties between poverty and health, one could not begin to properly offer quality care or address the even greater systemic challenges at work.

PIH has been a pioneer in treating a number of the most stubborn afflictions of under-served communities, including HIV/AIDS, TB, and cancer. PIH has opened new paths to effective health delivery through its approach: working hand-in-hand with governments to strengthen total health systems – hospitals, health centers, and community health worker networks – with high quality care and socioeconomic support.

Nowhere has our approach had more profound results than in Rwanda, which in just over 10 years has achieved the most dramatic gains in population health and poverty reduction in the world, including meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals. These outcomes serve as a beacon, exemplifying what can result when visionary leaders relentlessly pursue evidence-based care through robust health systems, with particular emphasis in rural populations.