A Love for Brooks Runs in the Family

50 Year Anniversary

Feb 17, 2020

Brooks Rehabilitation is celebrating 50 years of caring in 2020. Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing 50 Stories for 50 Years. These will include our history, patient stories, employee highlights and recaps of the many ways we’ve grown through the years to better serve our communities. Through five decades of rehabilitation, we have been privileged to assist millions of people achieve their highest level of recovery and participation in life.

Sometimes our Brooks Rehabilitation employees enjoy working here so much that they encourage other family members to join them. This is particularly true for the Olsen family.

IT Application Consultant, Debbie Olsen, was searching for a company that shared her core values, especially the belief in teamwork, compassion and integrity. When she was approached by the Brooks CIO, she jumped at the opportunity.

“One of the reasons that I knew about Brooks Rehabilitation and its reputation in our community was because my father-in-law, Ken Olsen, was the chaplain at Memorial Hospital and worked with Brooks from 1989 – 1994 since the two hospitals were combined. Ken expressed many times how much that he loved working in a culture that empowered both the patients and employees and that it took all hands on deck to achieve the excellence in care that Brooks was known for,” said Debbie. “He also was very impressed that members of Brooks leadership personally followed their core values by volunteering to assist with Brooks’ community programs,” she continued. The model of servant leadership was instilled by namesake, J. Brooks Brown, MD and still core to the company.

“Ken was so excited when he found out that I would be working at Brooks Rehabilitation in 2011 because he knew that I would love this company as much as he did and he was so right,” said Debbie.

Four months after Debbie started at Brooks, her niece and Ken’s granddaughter, Sarah (Olsen) Chamberlin, was considering a position at Brooks. “I asked my aunt what the culture was like and if it was family-oriented,” said Sarah. Debbie assured her it was and Sarah was hired to work as an Occupational Therapist in Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital caring for patients specifically with brain injuries. She continues in that role to this day. “Sarah was instrumental in starting a Brooks Rehabilitation mission trip called Project Restore where Brooks therapists traveled to third world countries to volunteer their rehab services to those in need,” said Debbie. There was such an overwhelming response after the first trip that Sarah, along with the help of other therapists, continued to raise additional funds so that two or three additional mission trips were made in the years to follow.

“To say that I am proud of everything that Brooks has accomplished in this timeframe is an understatement. I look forward to being a member of this compassionate team of people for years to come as both an employee and a volunteer,” said Debbie.

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