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Paul Farmer

Founder, Partners in Health

I think part of it was that I saw just how many different groups had been in and out of Haiti over the years. I knew they were well-meaning, even if I was -- as sometimes young people are -- I'm sure I was hypercritical. That's okay. Everybody's a critic, and like I said, the diagnosis is easy and cheap to make, right? You know, you see all this aid money going in to Haiti. This is -- I'm talking about the '80s. Haiti's still in trouble. It's easy to say, "Gee, there's a problem here." There is a problem with the effectiveness of the aid, and there were missionary groups, and there were short-term medical missions, and there were tons of people from the United States and Europe. So I think back, then I said, "Well, we need to have long-term partnerships," hence the name. It's not gonna be someone coming from the United States, into Haiti saying, "Do this, do that." It's really about partnerships. So in many senses, certainly the idea for doing that came from Haiti, but also the start was in Haiti.
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Paul Farmer

Founder, Partners in Health

We knew that these were transnational epidemics, transregional, globalized epidemics. The same is true for lots of other pathogens. We knew that, but the question was, "How could we be effective?" And the way that we got started was working with the Open Society Institute, which George Soros founded. And then the Gates Foundation, in one of their first major delivery grants, started supporting our work in Peru. And we went back and said, "Look, you know, there's a very big problem in Russia as well. Do you think we could help there?" So we ended up re-formulating our support for the Peru project, to support Peru and Russia, to really scale it up in Russia. So yes, in a way that was an acknowledgement of what we always knew to be a globalized problem. How could it be otherwise? it's an airborne disease, so it's going to spread, globally, just like swine flu or SARS.
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Paul Farmer

Founder, Partners in Health

Paul Farmer: Well, I think that if I define my field as infectious disease, I'd say community-based care for chronic infectious disease, or new therapeutics are in the pipeline. If I define my field as public health, I would say strengthening health systems, right? But if I define my field more broadly, as development and social progress, I would say the biggest developments are going to be bringing together a growing movement around social justice, and linking that to the growing movement for environmental justice. I think once these things come together, that we're going to see a lot of social progress in the planet. So yeah, any of those. That's all optimism for you.
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Suzanne Farrell

Ballerina Extraordinaire

Suzanne Farrell: My feelings started to change when I realized that dancing was getting inside my body, emotionally, as well as physically. And that it was taking on a whole new dimension, and my life was changing, and I had a performance where I got on stage with an orchestra. At the dress rehearsal, there was no one in the audience, but I suddenly was in the real atmosphere of the theater. I looked out at these empty seats. But I felt all this sort of dust, or feelings of people who had been there before. It was palpable. And I just thought, this is what I want to be. And I knew that dancing would be my chosen profession.
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Suzanne Farrell

Ballerina Extraordinaire

When you get on stage, you can be anything. You are removed from reality in a way, the real world. And yet I think that when you are a performer -- and for me, a dancer -- is when, to me, that is more real. It is not fantasy. It's a certain amount of pretending, and your hard work and your training and your professionalism. But it's more real, because I have spent my life in the theater and on stage, and in the classroom. Far from feeling that it is not the real world, I feel that I see the real world more realistically because I see it clearer when I am dancing.
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Sally Field

Two Oscars for Best Actress

When you learn to do it, if you study and you have a lot of techniques, you learn to step in someone else's shoes. Part of those shoes are created by history. You do research on who this person, if they existed or not, might have been. You use the text of the writer who has written it. You use the text itself, and all of the information that the writer has given you. But you really instill it with your own life. You find parts of yourself that actually link with that human being, even though there may be so on the page you could... I mean, how am I going to do this? There's no way I can relate to this person. And it transforms you as a person to stand in those shoes, because you realize how you are linked to everyone, profoundly, deeply, emotionally linked. And I have been changed by the strong roles I've gotten to play, of Norma Rae or Sybil and others, and I go away not the same. And it has made me wonder, "Was John Wayne John Wayne before he played those roles?" Or did Red River change John Wayne and help him to develop to be the person that he became as a human being? I think it has to go hand-in-hand.
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Sally Field

Two Oscars for Best Actress

Sally Field: Sybil had something that was a personality disorder. At that time it was called "multiple personality" and now it's called something else, which is a very real thing but not called multiple personality. I wish I could remember exactly what it's called, and it's not schizophrenia. But Sybil -- I think if you work in the arts, especially if you're in the performing arts, especially if you're an actor -- I understood the illness so much, because I have those voices in those parts of myself that contain certain colors. There's certain characters I've even given names as a child, that could be the strong one, or could be the sexy one or could be the shy one. And we, as human beings, accept that. I mean we don't name them, and we don't tell anyone that we feel that when we deal with our teachers we deal with somebody, and when we deal with our friends we deal with somebody. But I felt it very distinctly. So I really understood that particular mental illness, and subsequently have played other people with mental illness, and have felt very connected to it. I mean, thank God I can get out of it and go home, to an extent, but understand that there is this link between creativity and madness, and I have walked on that delicate line. I really understand that in the brain there is a place that, that madness and creativity sort of go like this with each other and have read about it. Later on, when I played someone who had bipolarism, I have great regard for people with mental illness and dealing with it. I am so lucky that I can flirt with it and come home.
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