by Bob Lenzi
Peter Laurence Page, M.D. died on May 9, 2014 after a long and distinguished career in transfusion medicine. Devoting his career to the safety of blood transfusions, he served in many leadership positions throughout the American National Red Cross Blood Program for over 28 years.
Board certified in Internal Medicine, Oncology, Hematology, and Blood Banking, he worked at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and was an attending physician at the West Roxbury V.A. Medical Center before joining the American Red Cross in 1978. He became CEO of the Northeast Region Red Cross Blood Center in Dedham, MA in 1983.
After participating in the clinical trial of the first test for HIV, he worked tirelessly on issues of testing methodology, confidentiality, anonymous testing, and counseling. During implementation of the first HIV test in 1985, he provided leadership to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the City of Boston Mayor’s Commission on AIDS, and the AIDS Action Committee. His efforts to inform the public and to ensure the safety of the blood supply during this unprecedented time were recognized by the Governor of Massachusetts, the Mayor of Boston, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The only child of Elden Laurence Page and Anna-Berta (Jakobson) Page, Peter was born in Stockholm Sweden June 11, 1946. As a member of the US Foreign Service, his father traveled the world and Peter grew up in Athens, London, Budapest, Okinawa, and in the Washington DC area. A graduate of the University of Virginia Medical School, Peter completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, at NIH, and the Harvard Medical School.
Known for his high energy, logical problem solving, and persistence to solutions, Peter was often called on to lead the Red Cross blood program through organizational transitions. At the Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. he served in leadership roles for regulatory activities, the medical office, and for blood testing laboratories throughout the country.
After serving as CEO of Southern California Red Cross Blood Center in Los Angeles for three years, he returned to the Red Cross national headquarters medical office until he retired in 2006. In retirement he served as a consultant to the World Health Organization.
He was an ambassador member of Gamma Mu Foundation which seeks to fund projects in rural and/or underserved areas that provide support to the GLBT community, he was also a long time member of Los Papagayos which is the oldest gay mens social club in the United States, and he was one of the founders of the famous ‘Provincetown White Party’ which is held every year at Labor Day in Provincetown, Massachusetts where the party raises funds for Outer Cape Health Services of Lower Cape Cod.
His friends remember his boundless energy in all his many interests which included; snow skiing all over the world, scuba diving, square dancing, and contract and duplicate bridge.
His long time partner Robert L. Black died from AIDS complications in 1989.
Peter succumbed to esophageal cancer at his home in Boston. He was 67.