Robert Paine is currently a Professor Emeritus in Clinical Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Medicine and Cardiology at St. Luke’s Hospital. He graduated from Harvard College in 1942, Harvard Medical School in 1944 and then completed his residency in St. Louis at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Afterward, Robert served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and then returned to pursue a fellowship in cardiology at Barnes.
Over the course of his medical career, Robert has developed a passion for providing medical care to under-served populations. In the 1960’s, while an Instructor at WUSTL, he served briefly as an attending physician at the Homer G. Phillips Hospital which, prior to the desegregation of the city hospital system, served as the primary health care and medical training facility for African Americans in St. Louis. In 1988, Robert developed an elective course for senior medical students that involved clinical work at the medical center that evolved into St. Louis Connect Care, the only remaining public hospital in the City of St. Louis. This elective allowed many doctors in training to gain useful experience with patients of varying racial and economic backgrounds.
Throughout his professional career, Robert has been witness to the inadequacies of health care for under-served populations and has become a firm supporter of preventative care. Six years ago, he recruited several doctors, nurses, medical students and others as volunteers in founding the Health Protection and Education Services (HPES) program. Through HPES, based in University City, individuals can receive health screenings, education and treatment referrals at no cost periodically throughout the year. Each year, 700-800 people take advantage of this program, many of whom would not normally be able to afford such services.
Robert’s efforts are known throughout the medical community in St. Louis. As his nominator Steven Plax M.D., Professor Emeritus at WUSTL writes, “Dr. Paine’s enthusiasm and commitment to education and community service have made him a much admired mentor and leader. We physicians and students are very fortunate to interact with [him].” Plax also commends his ability to “make every volunteer feel as if they are the very best and have performed an invaluable service.” Robert has received many awards for his work, including being named a “Health Care Hero” by St. Louis Business Journal. Even in his eighties, Robert continues to serve the St. Louis community with support from his wife Jane and three children.