Claire H. Montaigne, MD

Class Year




Posted on: October 26, 2022

Claire Hays Montaigne, a physician and assistant professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, died at her home in Portland, Sept. 21, 2022, after living for two years with cancer. She was 33.

Claire was born in Philadelphia and raised in Moscow — where her parents were correspondents — and in Pelham, N.Y. She graduated from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City and was a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia, graduating summa cum laude in 2011. After graduating from the University of Virginia Medical School in 2016, she completed a four-year family medicine residency at OHSU.

During her residency, Claire served as chief resident and developed the interests that would define her all-too-brief medical career: working with underserved communities, improving women’s health, and caring for pregnant women with substance abuse issues. Modest and patient, Claire possessed great intellect, energy, and compassion, and was known among her colleagues as a detail-oriented, patient-centered physician who was generous with her time.

“Claire was a gifted clinician who practiced full-scope family medicine, delivering babies, working on the inpatient unit and Covid wards, and caring for whole families in her clinic,” said one of her colleagues, Dr. Katie Putnam. “She was beloved by her patients, revered by her colleagues, and a skilled educator who embodied humanism in medicine.”

Six weeks after giving birth to a daughter, Charlotte, and just days after graduating from her OHSU residency program, Claire was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma. Claire faced this diagnosis with remarkable bravery and determination, undergoing numerous established and novel therapies. Through it all, she continued to take care of patients and was a loving and active mother.

Claire was an an avid hiker, snowshoer, and skier. She also loved the ocean and was a passionate cook.

Claire is survived by her husband, Matthew Baer; their two-year-old daughter, Charlotte Hays Baer; her parents, Laurie Hays and Fen Montaigne; her sister, Nuni Montaigne; and her grandmother, Susan Pope Hays.