Posted on: November 5, 2021
Dr. Brooks was born in Florence, South Carolina, on April 29, 1947, to Mary Cornelia Harris Brooks and Charles Jackson Brooks. He graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1969, and obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1973, where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine (1976) and a fellowship in Nephrology (1978). Dr. Brooks was certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology.
Dr. Brooks had many interests and talents, but his true calling was medicine. After moving to Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1978, Dr. Brooks was the first sub-specialist to practice at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. In the four decades that followed, Dr. Brooks cared for thousands of patients throughout the Shenandoah Valley, Charlottesville, and Piedmont areas, establishing access to lifesaving care for end-stage kidney disease in underserved populations across the region, from Lewisburg, West Virginia to Washington, D.C.
Dr. Brooks fervently supported educational pursuits, both his own and those of others. During the second half of his career, he obtained a Master of Science in Evidence-Based Health Care from the University of Oxford, Kellogg College, in 2008. He was a member of Oxford Medical Alumni and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
While pursuing his degree at Oxford, Dr. Brooks transitioned into academic medicine as Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Virginia, where he also served as Director of Health Services Development and Patient Outcomes Research. At UVA Dr. Brooks developed the Acute Kidney Injury Risk Reduction Initiative, which when implemented showed a significant decrease in the progression of kidney disease in people undergoing heart surgery. He also established a thriving practice for UVA’s Health System Dialysis Unit in Farmville, Virginia, where he lived from 2015-2016. In recognition of his efforts, Dr. Brooks received UVA’s Department of Medicine Excellence in Clinical Care Award in 2020.
The dedication of Dr. Brooks to his patients was surpassed only by his devotion to his family. He is survived by his wife Anne May Brooks; by his sons Michael (Nancy) Brooks, Andy (Maggi) Brooks and John Ryan (Juan Carlos Munguia) Brooks, and his daughter Grace (Tommy) Nims; by his step-daughters Chloe Stott and Sadie Stott; by his nine grandchildren Hunt Brooks, Jake Brooks, Kate Brooks, Jack Brooks, Teddy Brooks, Luke Brooks, Jack Nims, Milo Brooks, and George Nims; by his sister Becky (Richard) Wallace; and by his nephew Charles Wallace, his niece Mary Leigh (Ross Howell, Jr.) Howell, and his grandnephew Michael Wallace.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Kidney Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières, or UVA Health neuro-oncology research.