We are saddened by the recent death of our Faculty Affiliate, Rich Payne, Esther Colliflower Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Divinity. Dr. Payne died Jan. 3 at age 67
Recently retired from his endowed chair in Divinity and Medicine, Rich was an internationally known expert in pain relief, care for those near death, oncology, and neurology. His focus was always upon the patient and, even in the heat of the opioid crisis, he remained a tireless advocate for patients in chronic pain.
The grandson of a sharecropper and the ninth of 14 siblings, Rich received his BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Before coming to Duke, he led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.
Dr. Payne retired from Duke Divinity School in 2017, where 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 was a generous, thoughtful and insightful colleague and we will always be inspired by his extraordinary career.