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Loyola University Chicago

New Student Convocation

Convocation Speaker


Claire Pierre, born in Haiti, is a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University's six-year combined accelerated BS-MD program. She trained in internal medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), where she served as chief medical resident and later as clinical director of quality informatics, a role that focused on health care improvement and the use of information technology to support safe and effective patient-centered care. In 2009, Dr. Pierre assisted Dr. Paul Farmer as a volunteer at the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti with President Bill Clinton. In 2010, she joined the earthquake rescue and relief efforts in Haiti where she remained to work with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, as the senior health advisor and sector lead. In this role, she worked closely with the Ministry of Health, country donors, multinational organizations, and partners across sectors on key policies and programs to support the long-term reconstruction of the health sector in Haiti. She currently serves as director of the Program in Health Systems Strengthening and Social Change in Harvard Medical School's  Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. 

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Tracy Kidder's book Mountains Beyond Mountains shares the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, who graduated medical school with a burning desire to bring modern medicine to the parts of the world which most needed it.  Kidder traces Dr. Farmer's journey from Haiti to Peru, Cuba, and Russia.  

But, it is more than a good story written by a master storyteller. It is also Kidder's effort to explain what made it possible, even necessary, for Farmer to take his life in the direction that he did. Have no doubt about it, Farmer had a vocation, a calling even, that he discovered as a young man.

Although Dr. Paul Farmer is not a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, he is an embodiment of our mission and values and this book illustrates his passion for others and his desire to set the world on fire.