Happy 95th Birthday Dr. Brooks Brown!


Oct 27, 2015

Brooks Rehabilitation’s mission to provide advanced therapy and hope to our patients was originally inspired by the man for whom our organization was named after.

J. Brooks Brown, MD, a well-known and admired thoracic surgeon, has always been a risk taker and a visionary.  Throughout his career, he would look to the future and base decisions on what he believed that future would hold.  His vision led to the development of two major healthcare organizations serving Jacksonville today.

Dr. Brown has helped so many achieve great things through his support, his influence and his leadership. He has been instrumental in improving the healthcare landscape and the lives of countless patients in both Jacksonville and its surrounding areas.  

All of us at Brooks Rehabilitation would like to wish him a very happy 95th birthday! Here are few very special birthday wishes from members of the Brooks Rehab family.

Dr. Brown,

I am so thankful and honored I have had the chance to work with you and to have Helen and you as friends.

You have been such a great leader for the Brooks organization by creating a unique culture and a vision which has led to success in the rapidly changing health care industry.

You have been a wonderful mentor for me personally.  Your example showed me that you can be successful while showing respect for everyone and demonstrating humility and grace.  You are truly a servant leader!

Thanks for everything!  Happy 95th birthday!!

Doug Baer – CEO of Brooks Rehabilitation

I remember Dr. Browns’ humility and how warm, friendly and approachable he was with everyone.

Kathy Martin – Brooks Clubhouse Manager

Dr. Brown,

I always like to tell the story about how disillusioned I was with a particular acquisition, and went to you to discuss this issue. Your words of wisdom have stuck with me from that day forward. Pat, “change good or bad, is inevitable. We must learn to accept change, with flexibility”

This is very important advice from a man I continue to have the utmost respect for…and it has helped me to become the best Brooks employee that I could ever be.

Flexibility is my middle name. I have lived through many changes over my 17 plus years at Brooks. I have heard these words echoed in my mind over and over again! Your visionary leadership and outstanding commitment have taught me so much!!

I am so happy to know both you and Helen on a personal level, and have enjoyed spending time with you at your home. You are both very dear to my heart and continue to amaze me with your energy, positive attitudes and strength.

You are both legends and my heroes!!

Happy Birthday dear leader, friend and colleague. I wish you all the very best of continued good health, love and happiness!!

Hugs! Pat Seibold

I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Brown as both a surgeon and later as an inspirational & visionary leader.   He was a skilled & caring surgeon and it was delightful working with him in a patient care capacity. As a rehab champion & respected leader in the healthcare community, it was a privilege to be on his team and to learn from him.  I loved his philosophy of Servant Leadership and hope I have lived this role as a leader over the years. He was a role model & teacher extraordinaire!  I think of Dr. Brown often, and Helen, who was always such a friend and support for so many of us, and wish them both a very Happy Birthday together.

Thank you,


Bonny Dunn – Director, Rehab Services

I came to Memorial Rehab Center in September 1985 at the urging of Mary Ware (then head of the social work department) , …when we had 75 beds and only 3 social workers.

Dr. Brooks Brown and Dr. Howard Hogshead’s skill, vision, and commitment to genuine rehabilitation and above-standard care confirmed my decision to come and to stay all these years, as the organization has grown and excelled in all the values Dr. Brown envisioned.

I thank him for his steady direction, servant’s heart, keen business and medical values, and encouraging presence and kindness throughout the years. I pray all blessings upon Dr. Brown, as he has been a blessing to my life and to the lives of so many others (patients/staff/families/community)!


Louise McEachern   MSW  CRC

Dr. Brown,

You have always been a quiet force behind the inspiration and culture of Brooks.  Your insightful visions on healthcare and the grace by which you delivered your leadership has impressed itself upon me over the years.  I am wiser for knowing you and working in the environment you inspired.  Thank you for modeling the way for me.

Karen Green – 25 years serving Brooks and counting

Dr. Brown,

Happy 95th Birthday!

Thank you for your vision and leadership that has been an example to everyone who has carried the banner of excellence and compassion for Brooks Rehabilitation over the years. I wish you much happiness today and every day!

Marion Anderson

A small story about Dr. Brown,

A few years ago, Kenny, Vinny and I went to Dr. Brown’s house in Mayport to bring him a hill rom bed he had asked for help with. We struggled to get it in the house, but we got the task done as he and Mrs. Brown watched and giggled at the three stooges trying to get this square peg in the round hole. Before we left he showed us around the house and all his hunting trophies and hand carvings (he’s clearly a very talented man), and as we started to leave he hands me a 50 dollar bill. I had to explain to him without hurting his feelings that he was already paying us… we work for you . He thought this was funny.

I believe Dr. Brown wants to take care of everybody no matter how small the chore or how big. That’s why he started this great company of caring people that take care of all the people who walk in the door no matter what the situation is. By the way, no we did not take the money, but we enjoyed that time talking to him and his wife on his time clock.

Richard Gray

Dr. and Mrs. Brown are the perfect example of humility and grace!

Connie Frisbie

When I think of Dr. Brown I remember his weekly visits to the Healthcare Plaza while participating in the Independent Exercise program.  Two or three times a week he and his wife, Helen, would come into the gym ready to work out.  I recall that Dr. Brown was very friendly and made a point to speak to all of the patients and staff.  He had that innate ability to make everyone feel special.  We all looked forward to his visits and conversations about his family, his favorite hobby – hunting and other great memories.   Even today, he displays the grace and kindness of a true southern gentleman.  Happy Birthday Dr. Brown!!  Wishing you hugs, happiness and health in your 95th year!


Ceil Brooks

I have had several conversations with Dr. Brown across the years on topics ranging from the ever changing challenges in healthcare to what makes for a successful long marriage.  We both agree that humor is an essential ingredient for the.  I’ve always walked away from my encounters with Dr. Brown with a smile.

Cynthia L. Beaulieu, PhD, ABPP-CN

Happy 95th Birthday Dr. Brown !!!   Someone once said that “…the only person that wants to be 95 is the person who is 94.”

Greatest Lesson You Have Taught Me:  Good morals/values, competence in the practice of our profession, and hard work are key ingredients for success.

Thank you for the wonderful example of a true servant leader you have always set


Russell Addeo, Ph.D., ABPP-CN

Dr. Brown,

Happy Birthday to a true leader in our community! It was with your vision that our Research Department began in 1998.  Without that vision, we would not be where we are today.  I have known you and Helen, first through my parents, Albert and Bertha Ann Fechtel and now through Brooks Rehabilitation.  I watched you open Memorial Hospital, Brooks Rehabilitation and the Brooks Research Center.  You have directly impacted my life, but also the lives of so many others in Jacksonville and NE Florida.  Thank you for your many years of service and friendship,

Floris Fechtel Singletary

Dr. Brown,

I can still remember visiting with you in your office at Brooks.  You were always so kind and welcoming.  You treated every single person with dignity and respect.  The advice and guidance you shared is still being discussed within our walls today.  You have had such a tremendous impact on this organization and all of Jacksonville.  And I personally still look forward to seeing your smiling face at every Brooks event.  It is an honor to know you and Helen.  I hope you have the most wonderful birthday filled with love, family and friends.

Jill Matejcek

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