Sunday, June 28, 2015

Durell Peaden, driving force behind FAMU’s Rural Diversity Healthcare Center, dies at 69

Former state Sen. Durell Peaden with FAMU officials in Crestview in 2012
The former state senator who was the driving force behind FAMU’s Rural Diversity Healthcare Center in Crestview, Fla., died on Tuesday, June 23 at the age 69.

Durell Peaden succumbed to a heart attack in Erie, Pa., where he worked as a dean for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He previously served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000 and the Florida Senate from 2001 until his term limit in 2010.

“He was probably proudest of being able to bring the FAMU pharmacy school to Crestview,” said Sen. Greg Evers, who was elected to succeed Peaden in 2010.

Peaden steered a total of $11M in nonrecurring funds into FAMU’s budget during the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions in order to cover start-up costs for the university to launch an interdisciplinary satellite campus in downtown Crestview, Fla. That money went toward renovating the former Alatex Textile Company building on 153 Woodruff Avenue for FAMU’s use. Peaden also secured a $1.5M recurring appropriation designated for faculty and staff for its programs.

The Rural Diversity Healthcare Center became the first degree-granting satellite location of the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Peaden’s survivors are his wife, Nancy, and three children.

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