Richard Payne, the Esther Colliflower Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Divinity, died Jan. 3 at age 67. He was an internationally known expert in the areas of pain relief, palliative care, oncology, and neurology.
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 joined the faculty in 2004.
A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Payne did postgraduate training in internal medicine (Peter Bent Brigham Hospital), neurology (New York Hospital), and neuro-oncology, pain management, and palliative care (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). He served on numerous panels and advisory committees, many at the national level; 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; and received numerous awards, 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.
Prior to his appointment at Duke, Dr. Payne was chief of Pain and Symptom Management Sections, Department of Neurology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (1992–1998) in Houston, Texas, and from 1998 to 2004 he led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he held the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology. He was also the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. He had more than 275 publications in his fields of expertise and edited four books.
Services for Dr. Payne will be held Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Union Baptist Church at 904 N. Roxboro St. in Durham, N.C. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon; services with the Rev. Prince R. Rivers officiating and burial will be from noon to 2 p.m. From 2 to 3 p.m., there will be a repass.