MACKAY, Richard

MacKAY, Dr. Richard Earle "Dickie," died on March 26, 2020. He had been battling cancer and toxic side effects of therapy for much of the past two years, but ultimately, he succumbed to COVID-19. After completing Douglas Freeman High School, graduating from Yale University and earning a medical degree at the University of Virginia Medical School, Dickie lived a life of service to others. In the first 10 years of his career, he worked with the Indian Health Service treating hantavirus on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico and measles outbreaks in remote tribal areas near the Arctic Circle. In 1989, he was the sole physician at a refugee camp in Sudan caring for over 40,000 refugees. He then transferred to the Peace Corps and served for 10 years as a Chief Medical Officer for several African countries. He was the first medical person to reach the U.S. Embassy in Kenya after the 1998 Al-Qaeda bombing. The plight of the African people afflicted with HIV and AIDS moved him to return to the United States to study the disease at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. He was instrumental in building Mount Sinai's clinic for the uninsured, inner-city HIV/AIDS patients. While serving over the years as the Director of the In-Patient HIV/AIDS Service as a Mount Sinai Medical School professor, he was voted so many awards from his students that his colleagues affectionately toasted his 2017 retirement as their chance to finally win a few awards for themselves. He enjoyed international adventures with his wife, Donna; as well as biking, kayaking and gardening at their weekend home in the country. His good nature and quiet humor as well as his caring, gentle and humble personality will long be remembered by his colleagues, patients, friends and family. Richard was predeceased by his parents, Earle and Virginia MacKay. He is survived by his wife, Donna; brother, Jim MacKay (Sue); and sister, Mary Ann MacKay Brock (Clement); as well as his nephews, Ben and Tom MacKay and Will (Kayla), Louie (Katherine) and Matthew (Rachel) Brock. A fund has been established in his memory to support research into the toxic side effects of recent developments in cancer treatment. Contributions may be made at http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/DrRichardMacKay.

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