Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Trainee Paul Blum in Zambia

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Washington, D.C., September 10, 2012 – Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams is saddened to confirm the passing of Peace Corps trainee Paul Blum on September 8, 2012. Paul, 65, was training for Peace Corps service in Zambia. He was to be sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer on October 5.

“The entire Peace Corps community mourns the loss of such a committed trainee whose wealth of experience in the medical and teaching fields was a great asset to the Peace Corps mission,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams (returned Peace Corps volunteer, Dominican Republic, 1967-1970). “Our thoughts are with Paul’s family, friends and community, both at home and in Zambia.”

Paul was preparing to serve as a community health Volunteer. During a successful professional life of more than 40 years that included working as a researcher, teacher, administrator and consultant, Paul acquired the skills and a strong desire to make a difference as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Having taught at Columbia University and Jefferson Medical College, Paul was preparing to train community health workers. Of primary importance to Paul was understanding the Zambian culture and in turn providing an understanding of the U.S. to the people in his host country and community.

Paul, a native of Cambridge, Mass., arrived in Zambia in July 2012 and was participating in the three-month pre-service training through which every Peace Corps volunteer prepares for service. Prior to serving with the Peace Corps, he had worked as a volunteer for a substance abuse recovery program and as a pharmaceutical consultant.

Paul held a doctorate in physiology/neurophysiology from the University of Vermont. He is survived by daughter Lori Reine, son-in-law Richard Reine, granddaughters Claudia and Alicia Reine, brother David Blum and his devoted companion of 14 years, Betsy Caney.