Resolution J1224-2013

Mourning the death of Barbara Hunter Chaffee, MD distinguished citizen and devoted member of her community



  • Apr 17, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 11, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of Barbara Hunter Chaffee, MD,
distinguished citizen and devoted member of her community

WHEREAS,  It  is  the  custom of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to
citizens of the State of New York  whose  lifework  and  civic  endeavor
served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great
State of New York; and
  WHEREAS,  Barbara  Hunter Chaffee, MD of Binghamton, New York, died on
March 5, 2013, at the age of 63; and
  WHEREAS, Born in  Bryn  Mawr,  Pennsylvania,  Barbara  Hunter  Chaffee
attended  the  Baldwin  School in Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore College, and the
University of Illinois Medical School in  Chicago,  where  she  received
both her M.D. and M.P.H. degrees; and
  WHEREAS,  Barbara  Hunter Chaffee distinguished herself in her profes-
sion and by her sincere dedication and substantial contribution  to  the
welfare of her community; and
  WHEREAS, As a physician practicing first in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania,
and  then in Binghamton, Barbara Hunter Chaffee's overriding concern was
to  provide  care  for  the  needy,  especially  those  suffering   from
addictions or from HIV and AIDS; and
  WHEREAS,  When AIDS first surfaced, hospitals and doctors were fearful
to be known as care providers for people with HIV; Barbara Hunter  Chaf-
fee was not one of those doctors; she became one of the first physicians
in the Southern Tier to treat people with the virus; and
  WHEREAS,  Some of her patients she helped to keep healthy for decades;
others she shepherded  through  their  final  days,  driven  by  a  deep
compassion,  a  refusal  to judge and a desire to provide care to people
others shunned; subsequently, a fund has been established  in  her  name
with the hopes of inspiring others to follow in her footsteps; and
  WHEREAS,  The Barbara H. Chaffee, MD, MPH Educational Fund was created
in January of 2010 to help health professionals  develop  knowledge  and
expertise  in  the field of HIV/AIDS, and to pay tribute to a remarkable
woman whose caring has touched  the  lives  of  hundreds  of  people  in
upstate New York; and
  WHEREAS, When the fund was created, Barbara Hunter Chaffee insisted on
including the clause: if HIV should ever be cured, the fund would go on,
educating health care providers on other public health issues; and
  WHEREAS,  After serving as a physician for the National Health Service
Corps  in  Susquehanna,  she  worked  as  Medical  Director,  Alcoholism
Services,  United  Health  Services,  then  for the Broome County Health
Service in various capacities, including Medical Director, and from 1990
until her retirement in 2010 as Medical Director  of  Binghamton  Family
Care  Center Internal Medicine Office at UHS and Medical Director of its
HIV Team; and
  WHEREAS, Throughout this time, Barbara Hunter Chaffee was also on  the
faculty  of  the  UHS Residency Program; her work with HIV/AIDS patients
began in the 1980s, when she was one of the only physicians in the  area
willing  to  treat  them,  and continued through the rest of her career;
furthermore, she was active on HIV-related committees and  organizations
at the local, state and national levels; and
  WHEREAS,  Even after her retirement, the practice Barbara Hunter Chaf-
fee established continues to grow today, with 320 current patients; and
  WHEREAS, Barbara Hunter Chaffee's commitment to  excellence,  and  her
spirit  of humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, includ-
ing charitable and civic endeavors; and
  WHEREAS, Barbara Hunter Chaffee was  a  long-time  member  of  Trinity
Memorial  Church  in Binghamton, New York, where she was an enthusiastic

choir member, lay preacher, and most recently, member of the Vestry; she
was also active in Episcopal Diocesan activities, including six years of
service on the Standing Committee; and
  WHEREAS,  For  a  number  of years, Barbara Hunter Chaffee sang in the
Madrigal Choir of Binghamton; and
  WHEREAS, In recognition of her wide-ranging activities,  she  was  the
recipient  of  over  15  honors and awards, among which were the Baldwin
School Alumnae Award; Linda Laubenstein Award from the  New  York  State
AIDS Institute; Phoenix Award of the Citizen Action Program; President's
Award  for Excellence in Teaching at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse;
STAP Legacy Award; and the Outstanding  Service  Award  for  exceptional
accomplishments  in  HIV/AIDS  service  delivery from The New York State
Department of Health; and
  WHEREAS, This remarkable woman greatly enjoyed  music,  the  outdoors,
hiking  and  kayaking,  and  summer  weeks  in  the Adirondacks with her
extended family; and
  WHEREAS, Barbara Hunter Chaffee is survived by her husband, John;  her
sons,  Timothy,  Philip,  and Conrad; Conrad's wife, Luba and their sons
Caleb, Gideon and Joshua; her mother and father, Helen and Holland Hunt-
er; her sisters, Ann Hunter, Christine Hunter  and  her  husband,  Louis
Venech  and their sons, Peter Lewis, Jonathan Venech and Gregory Venech;
her brother, Timothy Hunter and his  wife,  Anne  and  their  daughters,
Frances  and  Nellie;  and  her brother- and sister-in-law, Paul and Jan
Chaffee and his son, Jove Oliver; as well as another sister-in-law, Mary
Chaffee; and
  WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued  with  a  sense  of
compassion,  Barbara  Hunter  Chaffee  leaves behind a legacy which will
long endure the passage of time and will remain as a  comforting  memory
to all she served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Barbara Hunter Chaffee, MD, distinguished citizen and
devoted member of her community; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Barbara Hunter Chaffee.


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