In Memoriam: Richard Payne, 1951-2019

Richard Payne, the Esther Colliflower Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, passed away on January 3. He was 67 years old.

Dr. Payne first joined the Duke faculty in 2004. He served as a faculty member for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture initiative, an expansion from the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, which he helped to launch and direct. He retired in 2017.

Before his appointment at Duke, Dr. Payne served as chief of pain and symptom management sections in the department of neurology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1992 to 1998. He led the pain and palliative care service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City as the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology from 1998 to 2004.

Throughout his career, Dr. Payne served on numerous panels and advisory committees. He gave expert testimony to the Congressional Black Caucus National Brain Trust and the President’s Cancer Panel in the area of healthcare access disparities in cancer care, palliative medicine, and end-of-life care. He also received various awards for his many accomplishments in medicine including the Distinguished Service Award from the American Pain Society, the Humanitarian Award from the Urban Resources Institute, and the Janssen Excellence in Pain Award.

Dr. Payne was a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Medical School. He did postgraduate training in internal medical at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, in neurology at New York Hospital, and in neuro-oncology, pain management, and palliative care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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