This year’s Campus Community Book Project will reach its culmination today with appearances by the book’s featured author, Tracy Kidder. Kidder will participate in a panel discussion and conduct a lecture.
Michael Wilkes from the UC Davis School of Medicine will moderate the panel “No Boundaries – Globalizing Health Care from Haiti to California and Beyond.”
“[Kidder’s] focus will be the [discussion’s] title, which is really the backbone of the book,” said Mikael Villalobos, administrator of diversity education for the Office of Campus Community Relations and book project coordinator. “In the lecture he will specifically talk about his experience in writing the book and his interaction with Paul Farmer, who is the central character of the book.”
Mountains Beyond Mountains details the efforts of Boston physician Dr. Paul Farmer in Haiti, where people suffer from high rates of tuberculosis, AIDS and HIV. This book marks the seventh year of the Campus Community Book Project, which was started in response to 9/11 and aims to bring people together by promoting dialogue about complex issues.
Panelist Amira Zaid, a fourth year genetics major, will discuss the many barriers to health care and means of repairing our broken health care system.
“Mountains Beyond Mountains details Dr. Paul Farmer’s efforts to promote health care to Haiti’s medically underserved,” Zaid said. “In the discussion, I hope to bring the fight home and highlight the many disparities and efforts in our local area.”
Zaid is a volunteer at Clinica Tepati, a student-run, nonprofit clinic affiliated with the UC Davis School of Medicine, which provides free primary health care to Sacramento’s uninsured patient populations.
“We will certainly discuss global health care issues, but I hope to use my experience to discuss domestic health policy, educate the audience, advocate on behalf of those in our local area lacking critical health services,” Zaid said.
David Bunn, project manager at the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, is also a panelist and will be speaking about a project he has been managing in rural communities of Tanzania. His focus is how to improve poultry health and respond to diseases like the Avian flu and Newcastle disease.
“In our situation, you discover other priorities that affect the design of how you deal with Avian flu,” Bunn said. “You need to deal with all major diseases of poultry. So we needed to test that theory and designed a program to improve poultry health generally.”
Poultry is a singular approach, but animal health has many parallels to human and ecological health, Bunn said. Working with a community must be multi-disciplinary, he said.
“[Paul] Farmer is a doctor but also an anthropologist,” Bunn said. “His skill set is one not all doctors have – how to work with communities, working to identify what their major needs are. All are not singular in discipline. They require broader approach.”
Jean Jacques Elissaint, Human and Community Development graduate student, will also be a panelist.
The conclusion to the Campus Community Book Project traditionally ends with the author’s visit and this year coincides with World AIDS Day. There will be a World AIDS Day Rally on the MU Patio today at 11:30 a.m. featuring speaker Dennis Fleming, AIDS survivor and activist.
The Center of AIDS Research, Education and Services along with the Yolo County Health Department will also be sponsoring rapid confidential HIV testing. The AIDS memorial quilt will be on display in the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts until tomorrow.
“The series of events really [is] bringing awareness to both HIV and AIDS and Paul Farmer’s work and addressing the HIV issue in Haiti,” Villalobos said.
The panel discussion will be from 4 to 5 p.m. and the Author’s Talk will be from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Both events will be at Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center. The panel is free to the public. Student tickets for the lecture are $10 to $17.50 and regular prices are $20 to $35.
Following the lecture is a book signing with Kidder in the Main Lobby of the Mondavi Center.
For more information on the book project or times and locations for related events and exhibits visit the CCBP’s website at occr.ucdavis.edu/ccbp2008.
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.