MacArthur Fellows Program

David B. Werner

Health Care Leader | Class of 1991

Health Care Leader
Palo Alto, California
57 at time of award
Area of Focus
Health Care Delivery
Published July 1, 1991

About David's Work

David Werner provides assistance to remote communities throughout the world, helping them develop effective grass roots systems for the delivery of primary health care.

Werner developed his expertise through his many years of work with village health programs in the mountains of western Mexico.  His book, Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Healthcare Handbook (1977), has been published in more than sixty languages, and is the world’s most widely used manual for community health workers.  He is also the author of Helping Health Workers Learn (1982) and Disabled Village Children (1987), and co-author of Questioning the Solution: The Politics of Primary Health Care and Child Survival (1997). Werner, who has a physical disability, has worked with disabled persons to construct wheelchairs and other aids from materials readily available in their several countries.


Werner is the co-founder and director of HealthWrights, a nonprofit organization in Palo Alto, California, which provides training for community health and disability workers in remote communities throughout the world.

Werner received a B.S. (1956) from the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia, and did graduate work at the University of Cincinnati (1956-57).

Last updated January 1, 2005

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