2012 Physician of the Year

October 15, 2012

“Physician of the Year” is a title that encompasses many outstanding attributes. It’s an honor presented to an osteopathic physician for unwavering dedication to patients, medicine and the profession. Sister Anne Brooks, DO, (Anne Eucharista Brooks, SNJM, DO) personifies everything this title stands for and more.

Dr. Brooks has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of countless underprivileged men, women and children in rural Mississippi as an osteopathic physician where she has practiced for 29 years. The folks in Tutwiler, Mississippi say Sister Anne Brooks is a savior, in part, because she is the only “doctor” in town. At age 74, she still works 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dr. Brooks began her career as a Roman Catholic nun taking her 1st vows in the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Name of Jesus and Mary in Rome, New York in 1957. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (1970) before matriculating to Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (1978) where she earned her osteopathic medical degree at the age of 44 and later traveled to the Mississippi Delta to begin a health care ministry to the poor and sick of Tutwiler, Mississippi.

Built before desegregation, Mississippi’s Tutwiler Clinic was a dilapidated one-story brick building that had separate waiting rooms for black and white patients when Dr. Brooks took it over in 1983. As the medical director and chief administrator of the Tutwiler Clinic, Dr. Brooks has grown the clinic into a full functioning free clinic where she makes it a point to treat the human spirit, practice preventative medicine, and continually educate others. With the support of other religious sisters, she helped to develop a community service infrastructure for developmentally delayed children. Together they are improving the lives of the citizens of Tutwiler.

In addition to her full-time clinic practice, Dr. Brooks became Chief of Staff of Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale in 2000 and served as chair of the Peer Review Committee between 2009 and 2011. Currently, she is serving as chief of the Department of Medicine at Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center and is the director of the Ryan White Program at DePorres Health Center in Marks, MS.

Since 1978, Dr. Brooks has made over 100 presentations, published 17 articles, and has been featured or mentioned in over 280 articles, magazines, journals, and news shows, including Newsweek, USA Today, People Weekly, American Health, NBC-TV, and CBS-TV 60 Minutes, to name a few. She has received over 50 honors and awards and is an active participant on numerous committees and in many professional organizations, both locally and nationally.

Dr. Brooks embodies the values of the osteopathic profession through leadership and service in the public and private areas of health care in rural Mississippi. She has helped the profession in advancing osteopathic medicine in rural health care communities and has trained many osteopathic students. Dr. Brooks has demonstrated unwavering dedication toward her patients and her profession. She is constantly looked upon as a role model by her peers. But most important, she is a healer and a source of hope for those most in need.

The American Osteopathic Foundation is honored to name, Sister Anne Brooks, DO, as the 2012 Physician of the Year.

Anne Eucharista Brooks, SNJM, DO