Partners in Health patron Tom White dies at 90

There would probably be no Partners in Health without Tom White, the Boston builder turned philanthropist who died yesterday.  He not only seeded the bold medical aid group, White believed in them when no in public health did. In today’s Globe obit, Dartmouth president and PIH founder Jim Kim called White “the real patron saint of hopeless causes. “He allowed us to tackle what are quite literally the most difficult health problems in the world,’’ including drug-resistant TB and untreated HIV. (Kim named his son after White.)

White in Haiti © PIH

In addition to the Globe story, see PIH’s own tributes, including one from Tracy Kidder, who followed PIH doc Paul Farmer around for a year for the book “Mountains Beyond Mountain.”

Recalling his first meetings with Paul Farmer, Tom said, “Paul was a lot younger than me, but he was way ahead of me, on service to the poor.” He smiled and went on, with a trace of wistfulness in his voice: “Sometimes I think how much money I used to have, before I met Paul Farmer.” Then he added, “But that’s all right. They give me a big steak now, and I can only eat half of it.” 

More here, including pictures.

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