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Celebrating the life of
Dr. Carey Stratton Hill, Jr.
July 28, 1928 - December 21, 2015
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 11:00am - Tuesday, January 05, 2016
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • 5300 Main Street (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77004

I had the honor to work with him at Open Door Mission. He always told me "Think Big" after our meetings. It is now time to do that commemorate him.

Vesa Pykala, Houston, TX

Dear Charlotte, I was so sorry to learn about Stratton. What an amazing and wonderful man. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during these difficult times and you have all my sympathy. May God surround you with peace and love forever.

Pamela Campbell, Houston, TX

Charlotte, it's Susan Hirsch, your partner from Homes of St Mark. I was so sorry to learn of Statton's passing. Your family and our community will miss his inspiration. May the God of all grant you a lifetime of sweet memories and peace in knowing that he is without pain and resting in a sacred place.

Susan Hirsch, Houston, Tx

C. Stratton Hill Jr., M.D. passed away at the age of 87 on December 21, 2015. He was born in Humboldt, TN on July 28, 1928 to Elizabeth and Carey Hill, Sr. Stratton was proud of his hometown and his service was honored in 2007 when he was inducted in the Humboldt Hall of Fame and served as Grand Marshall at the Annual Strawberry Festival. He was a 1950 graduate and long term trustee of Rhodes College where he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni award in 1997.
Stratton spent a year at the University of Virginia Law School before finding his calling in medicine. He graduated from the University Tennessee School of Medicine in 1954 and served an internship at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He married Charlotte Lover at Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston on December 10, 1955. They spent the next 2 years at the US Air Force Strategic Air Base in Plattsburg, NY acting as Chief of Professional Services and Chief Medical Officer for Air Force Hospital 4020 before completing his medical training at Cornell University, Bellevue Hospital, and Seton Hall College of Medicine in New Jersey. He completed his clinical training in the emerging field of endocrinology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York under a research fellowship from Squibb Pharmaceutical.
In 1963 Stratton and Charlotte returned to Texas when he joined the faculty at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he became known as an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of medullary thyroid cancer. He was one of the first clinicians to treat human patients with salmon calcitonin. He has over 30 publications to his credit for this work. In 1966 he received the Squibb award and in 1968 he received an award from the Texas Medical Association for his exhibit on “Undifferentiated Carcinoma of the Thyroid Gland.” He also spent time in the Marshall Islands studying the effects of radiation on the inhabitants of the islands. In the 1970’s he took on an administrative role at M.D. Anderson and helped to operate the outpatient clinics. Always dedicated to patient care, during this time he established the Pain Service and served as its chief until 1994 and continued as a clinician until his retirement in 1996. He understood that cancer pain was poorly understood and often not successfully treated. This led to his tireless efforts as a pioneer and international leader in the movement to improve the treatment of pain. He was featured on the CBS Evening News in 1988 to discuss the barriers to adequate pain control. In a relentless pursuit of reform and an effort to distinguish between legitimate pain control and the abuse of drugs, Stratton was instrumental in bringing attention to the problem. He organized a seminal conference in 1988 inviting key pain experts to discuss the Drug Treatment of Cancer Pain in a Drug-Oriented Society which was subsequently published as the 11th volume of Advances in Pain Research and Therapy. He worked with the legislature and Governor Bill Hobby to pass the nation’s first Intractable Pain Treatment Act of 1989, a model followed by many other states. He was featured on 60 Minutes in 1992 after creating the film “My Word Against Theirs – Narcotics for Cancer Pain Control” which depicted the under-medication of pain. This film went on to receive The Patient Care and Heart of Wisdom Award for the most humanitarian entry at the 1990 Muir Medical Film Festival. This film was subsequently used to provide education for health care professionals worldwide.
In 1991 the Texas Cancer Pain Initiative was founded under Dr. Hill’s leadership leading Governor Ann Richards to commemorate the event by declaring “Freedom from Cancer Pain Day.” Through the TCPI he conducted a survey of Texas physicians’ attitudes toward regulatory agency influences on opioid prescribing. The results of that survey were essential to demonstrate to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners that a policy on the management of intractable pain was needed. He worked with the Board to write that policy which was adopted in 1995. He drafted a bill requiring the state’s medical schools to submit pain management curriculum to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for review, which was also passed. He was a founding member and past president of the Texas Pain Society. He also worked on the national level with the state Medical Boards, The Drug Enforcement Agency and other narcotics control agencies to guide policy making regarding the prescribing of opioid analgesics. From 1990-1992 he served on the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research panel which produced the document Acute Pain Management: Operative or Medical Procedures and Trauma. Clinical Practice Guideline, and consulted on the AHCPR document Clinical Practice Guideline: Management of Cancer Pain. He also sat on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Committee for International Collaborative Activities.
Among his many honors Dr. Hill was the 1995 recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Humanitarian award and co-recipient of the 1997 National Drug Policy Foundation’s Norman Zinberg Award for Achievement in Medicine. He was a respected consultant and speaker throughout his career. In 1996 and 1998 he was invited to share his expertise by the Beijing Ministry of Health and lectured extensively in the Philippines, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Venezuela and throughout Europe. In 2010 he received the Mayor’s Volunteer Houston Award for his tireless service as physician and fund-raiser for the Open Door Mission. He served on the executive committee of the Open Door Mission and in September 2015 was presented with the mission’s Michael E. DeBakey Humanitarian award honoring a decade of medical service for his efforts in the mission’s goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
The Annual C. Stratton Hill Colloquium is held at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in honor of his many years of service to the medical community. He also served as a board member for Houston Hospice and was appointed to the Texas Cancer Council, the state agency coordinating cancer prevention and control programs.
His passion extended beyond medicine to his lifelong love of classical music. He was a past president of The Houston Friends of Music and supported the Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Natural Science, Bayou Bend, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, and Mercury Baroque. He formed an employee choir and directed annual performances at Christmas for the patients and staff of M. D. Anderson. He also served on the boards of The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Moore’s School of Music at The University of Houston. His desire for knowledge was life-long and he continued his studies through a vast collection of Great Courses. Stratton was also a founding member of the board of The Citizens for Animal Protection. He was an avid football fan and regularly watched the Texans games with his friend Bill Guest. He was a member of the River Oaks Wednesday Breakfast Club.
Stratton is survived by his wife Charlotte; daughter Lisa, son Carey Stratton III (Tripp) and his wife Monica; granddaughters Sophia and Sarah; sister Phyllis Hansen; niece Diana Smith; grand-nephew Bryan Smith; grand-niece Debora Smith; cousins Shirley and Keith Reece; Mildred Hill; David and Carolyn Hill and their son Matthew; George and Meg Hill and their children Sarah, Lindsay, and Ryan; Carol Hill Kenney; Robert and Dorothy Perricone; Carol and John Graham and their daughter Hanna.
The family would like to thank Dr. John Stroehlein, the staff at Methodist Hospital, Kindred Hospital, and TIRR-Memorial Herman Hospital for their compassionate care in his final months. They are especially grateful for the extra care shown to Stratton by Meghan Priestley, Gerald Bryant and Worth Whiteside while he was at TIRR.
Services will be held at The First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main Street, Houston on January 5, 2016 at eleven o’clock in the morning.
In the spirit of his humanitarian service the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to The Open Door Mission (www.opendoormission.org), 5803 Harrisburg Blvd. Houston, TX 77011 or Houston Hospice (www.houstonhospice.org), 1905 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030.

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I had the honor to work with him at Open Door Mission. He always told me "Think Big" after our meetings. It is now time to do that commemorate him.

Vesa Pykala, Houston, TX

Dear Charlotte, I was so sorry to learn about Stratton. What an amazing and wonderful man. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during these difficult times and you have all my sympathy. May God surround you with peace and love forever.

Pamela Campbell, Houston, TX

Charlotte, it's Susan Hirsch, your partner from Homes of St Mark. I was so sorry to learn of Statton's passing. Your family and our community will miss his inspiration. May the God of all grant you a lifetime of sweet memories and peace in knowing that he is without pain and resting in a sacred place.

Susan Hirsch, Houston, Tx

Candle tribute lit by Phyllis Hill Hansen(Sister) — Colorado


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