By Mark D. Okusa, M.D., FASN
John C. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Nephrology
Director, Center for Immunity, Inflammation and Regenerative Medicine
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Dr. Charles H. Brooks died on September 3, 2021.
Dr. Brooks was a champion for change to improve patient outcomes. A significant portion of his career had been spent in health services development with a special focus on access to care.
He had a long-standing interest in clinical decision-making and how patient’s health information may facilitate decisions and increase evidence-based interventions. This led him to obtain an MSc Degree in Evidence-Based Health Care at the University of Oxford. During his study at Oxford, he transitioned to his first full-time position in academic medicine in the Division of Nephrology at UVA as an Associate Professor. In addition to caring for patients with kidney diseases, he served as Director of Health Services Development and Patient Outcomes Research, Quality Liaison for the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine, and Regional Team Leader, Quality Improvement, UVA Medical Center Renal Services.
He developed a unique collaborative, multi-disciplinary “ideal process model,” the Acute Kidney Injury Risk Reduction Initiative, which, when implemented, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of AKI in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
As a member of the Nephrology Division, he never wavered when approached with many requests to lead new clinical initiatives (and there were many). One notable initiative that Dr. Brooks led was establishing a clinic with 80 patients in Farmville; however, it needed a physician to develop a practice. Dr. Brooks relocated to Farmville for over one-and-a-half years to establish a thriving practice that ultimately filled the UVA Health System Dialysis Unit in Farmville. This unit continues to thrive in Farmville as a UVA Health System practice. With his commitment to the community’s health, he held a community kidney screening clinic in Farmville along with local volunteers and local students from Longwood College. For his efforts, he was the recipient of the Department of Medicine Excellence in Clinical Care Award last year.
Dr. Brooks was a kind, caring individual, a valuable member of the Division of Nephrology, eloquent in speech and action, passionate about his work, and devoted to his patients. Where ever Dr. Brooks practiced, his patients followed him. He was never short on humorous and self-deprecating remarks, even to the end.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ann Brooks and the rest of his family. We will miss Charles (affectionally known as Harry) dearly.