J. Randall Curtis, MD

J. Randall (Randy) Curtis, MD, MPH, passed away on Feb. 6, surrounded by family. Dr. Curtis was a professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and a holder of the A. Bruce Montgomery – American Lung Association Endowed Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. J. Randall Curtis received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins and did his residency and fellowship at the UW School of Medicine. He was a chief resident at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. He also received an MPH from the University of Washington. He was appointed to the UW School of Medicine faculty in 1996, rising through the ranks to professor in 2013. He held adjunct appointments in the UW Departments of Health Services and Biobehavioral Nursing & Health Systems and the UW School of Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities.

Dr. Curtis served as the section head of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Harborview Medical Center for eight years. He was also a member of the medical executive board of Harborview and chair of the ethics committee. Nationally, he served on many committees and boards as president of the American Thoracic Society. He founded the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence in 2012 with a $10 million gift from the Cambia Health Foundation and was awarded a T32 training grant to support the next generation of palliative care researchers.

He was recognized a nationally and internationally recognized leader in palliative care research and end-of-life and communication with the goal of improving care for people with serious illness. His career focused on the integration of palliative care in the ICU and other settings, and interventions to teach clinicians how to create care plans that align with patients’ values and preferences. He received countless awards throughout his career, including the Robert Evans Award for understanding, compassion and concern for others, the Philip J. Fialkow Scholars Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is also recognized as an exceptionally generous and humble mentor, whose legacy lives on in the many hundreds of trainees, colleagues, and friends.