Barbara Hunter Chaffee

Chaffee, Barbara Hunter

(1949-2013): Barbara Hunter Chaffee, MD, MPH, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, doctor, singer, lay preacher, and friend, died on March 5th, 2013 ending a long battle with breast cancer. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she 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. As a physician practicing first in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and then in Binghamton, Barbara's overriding concern was to provide care for the needy, especially those suffering from addictions or from HIV and AIDS. 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. Throughout this time she 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. She was also active on HIV-related committees and organizations at the local, state and national levels.

Barbara was a long-time member of Trinity Memorial Church in Binghamton, where she was an enthusiastic choir member, lay preacher, and most recently, member of the Vestry, and she was active in Episcopal Diocesan activities, including six years of service on the Standing Committee. For a number of years she also sang in the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton. In recognition of her wide-ranging activities, she was the recipient of over fifteen honors and awards, among which were the Baldwin School Alumnae Award; the Linda Laubenstein Award from the NY State AIDS Institute; the Phoenix Award of the Citizen Action Program; the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse; the STAP Legacy Award; and the Outstanding Service Award for exceptional accomplishments in HIV/AIDS service delivery from The New York State Department of Health.

Barbara is survived her husband, John; her sons Timothy (of Brooklyn), Philip (London) and Conrad (Washington, DC); Conrad's wife Luba and their sons Caleb, Gideon and Joshua; her mother and father, Helen and Holland Hunter (Haverford, PA); her sisters Ann Hunter (Boulder); Christine Hunter and her husband Louis Venech (Queens) and their sons Peter Lewis (Berlin), Jonathan Venech (Brooklyn) and Gregory Venech (Albany); her brother Timothy Hunter, his wife Anne and their daughters, Frances and Nellie (all in Philadelphia); her brother-and sister-in-law, Paul and Jan Chaffee (San Francisco) and his son, Jove Oliver (New York); and her sister-in-law, Mary Chaffee (Berkeley).

Barbara greatly enjoyed music, the outdoors, hiking and kayaking, and summer weeks in the Adirondacks with her extended family.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, 11am at Trinity Memorial Church, 44 Main Street, Binghamton with the Rev. David Dravert officiating. The family will receive friends in the Hoyt Room at the church at 10am until the time of the services. A reception will follow the services in the Trinity Gym.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Barbara H. Chaffee, MD, MPH Educational Fund at the Community Foundation (, which is dedicated to the nurture and support of health care professionals caring for people with HIV/AIDS.

Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from Mar. 7 to Mar. 9, 2013