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Brooks Clubhouse Now Open
Out of the Chair and Into the Water
Brooks Partners with the Wounded Warriers Project for TRACK Program
They Will Surf Again in Jacksonville Beach
Deliver the Dream Announces Jeans and Dreams Gala
Brooks and the Jacksonville Jaguars Invite Kids to Play Smart! Stay Safe!
Brooks Builds First Green Health Care Building in Jacksonville
Congratulations Brooks C.R.R.N.s!
Brooks Adaptive Sports Program, Giddy Up!
Brooks makes $16.5 million donation to First Coast YMCA
Brooks and the University of Florida Reach Research Agreement
Brooks Welcomes Sarala Srinivasa, M.D. to Brooks Rehabilitation Specialists
Brooks Community Health Makes a Significant Contribution to the Local ACHE June Meeting
Celebrate 2007 A Success
Brooks/UNF Orthopaedic Residency Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation
Brooks Presents Stroke Community Health Summit
Brooks Sponsors First Ever Northeast Florida Handcycle Race and Clinic
Brooks Launches Adaptive Sport and Recreation Program
Four-year-old crash victim finally going home
Brain injured children thrive at rehab center
Brooks presents Gary Carp's "Life on Wheels"
Brooks launches physical therapy residency program
Former spinal cord injury patient runs 6K
Dream career comes later in life
Brooks donates $2.5 million to five area hospitals
Brooks Rehabilitation Adaptive Rowing Program
Brooks in the News
Brooks Celebrates Independence and National Rehabilitation Week



Brooks Rehabilitation is Proud to be a part of Celebrating 20 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act along with the City of Jacksonville and the Independent Living Resource Center on July 23rd and 24th


The U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Team after singing the national anthem on the medal stand in Beijing

Join us for two days of activities and celebrations in honor of 20 years of the ADA. Friday July 23rd at 6pm at WJCT Studios, enjoy a private showing of Music Within. Saturday July 24th from 11-4pm enjoy the "Abilities Within" adaptive sports showcase at the Veterans Memorial Arena. This event will feature exhibitions by Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, Wheelchair MotoX, Gold Medal winning USA Wheelchair Rugby Team and BROOKS Bandits, Quad Rugby Team and appearances by: Jacksonville Suns, Southpaw, Jaxon de Ville. 

Special guests, the USA Wheelchair Rugby Team, have medaled in all 3 Paralympic Games since Rugby became a medal sport in 2000 at the Sydney, Australia Games (2 Gold and 1 Bronze). They also took Gold at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games where rugby made its debut as and exhibition sport.

The USA Wheelchair Rugby program has a 52 – 2 record since coach James Gumbert took over in 2005. The team recently won the gold medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing China after beating powerhouse Australia 53 – 44.  Come out and get in the action! 

 Brooks Rehabilitation named one of the Best Places to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal

Brooks Rehabilitation was listed as one of 25 Best Places to Work in Jacksonville by the Jacksonville Business Journal.  Brooks came in 2nd place out of three businesses that were in the large company category, with over 250 employees.  The ranking was based on the scores from a survey taken by employees at each company.  The article also featured testimonials from two Brooks employees who shared their story about how Brooks has helped them develop as professionals as well as listen to their ideas and opinions.  The Story was featured in the May 7th-13th, 2010 edition.

Brooks Rehabilitation hosts an inspirational talk by Trisha Meili, The Central Park Jogger

On April 20, 2010, Brooks Rehabilitation sponsored a talk for patients, staff and the community by Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger.  In 1989, she was attacked in Central Park and left for dead.  Her talk gave an outstanding account of her recovery and her path to wholeness.  The event also featured an autograph signing of her 2003 New York Times Best Seller I am the Central Park Jogger, A Story of Hope and Possibility.  Local news outlets featured the story.  The Florida Times Union featured a story and video as well as Action news.  Full DVD versions of her talk will be available by request.  Please emailBrooks.CommunityHealth@brookshealth.org if you would like a copy.

Brooks Rehabilitation Named one of Jacksonville's 100 Healthiest Worksites
The Jacksonville’s Healthiest 100 Worksite Wellness Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of businesses in Duval County that have demonstrated a commitment to their employees’ health by implementing comprehensive worksite health promotion strategies.  It is awarded annually by the First Coast Wellness Council.  The First Coast Worksite Wellness Council is an initiative of Healthy Jacksonville 2010.Wellness efforts at companies take not only support from senior management, but dedication from staff to accomplish these types of goals. Being recognized with this award acknowledges Brooks Rehabilitation as a leader in the local community. 

Brooks Named one of Jacksonville Magazine's Companies that Care

January 2010's Issue of Jacksonville Magazine features Jacksonville'sCompanies that Care.  Brooks Health was named for our commitment to the Community as well as our employees commitment to donating money for our patients who may be under or uninsured.  We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to the Jacksonville community.




Brooks Orlando Outpatient Clinics are Offering Free Neck and Back Screenings in months of June and July 2009

Brooks Outpatient Clinics: Lake MaryOrlando DowntownWaterford LakesWest Volusia and Winter Park are offering FREE 15 minute neck and back pain screening appointments with one of our healthcare professionals.  Follow the links above for information to call the outpatient clinic near you and schedule your appointment today. 


Brooks Clubhouse Member Featured in May HealthSource Magazine for Miraculous Recovery

  Dennis O'Neal, a Brooks Clubhouse Member, was featured in HealthSource Magazine for his miraculous recovery from a Stroke.  Dennis was a patient at Mayo Clinic where he was treated immediately following the stroke, then went to Brooks Inpatient Hospital and now at the Brooks Clubhouse.  Dennis states that "the Brooks Clubhouse is the most miraculous place."  Click here to see the article featured on page 10. For more information about the Brooks Clubhouse take a look at the video to the left which highlights the members and how the Clubhouse impacts their lives.

Brooks Adaptive Sports Program and Life Rolls on Foundation Put on a Successful Adaptive Surfing Event

The They Will Surf Again Adaptive surfing event held on Saturday May 16th in Jacksonville Beach was a true demonstration of teamwork, community and passion.  The event hosted 30 surfers living with disabilities and more than 125 volunteers.  First Coast News had a great write up about the event, as well as CBS47 - listed as They Will Surf Again and The Florida Times Union.  Alice Krauss, Manager of Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation was on hand to take some great photos of the event.  A special thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers for making this a memorable and successful day. 

May is National Stroke Awareness Month 

The National Stroke Association states that the goal of the annual campaign is to raise public awareness about the full continuum of stroke by managing stroke risk factors, better understanding of stroke symptom recognition and response and improving the quality of life during stroke recovery for millions of stroke survivors in the United States.  Brooks has created 3 videos in an effort to promote Stroke Awareness: Stroke Prevention,Driving after a Stroke, and What Happens to Your Brain After a Stroke- Left vs Right Brain Function.  Visit our Stroke page for more information about the Brooks Stroke Center of Excellence.  Learn more about Stroke on the Brooks Community Resource Center.  Learn how to Spread Hope through the Brooks Clubhouse for persons with an acquired brain injury.

Brooks Neurology Residency Program Gains Accreditation by American Physical Therapy Association

Brooks Neurology Residency program is happy to announce that they have become accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  Brooks offers the only APTA credentialed Neurology Residency Program in the state of Florida.  Brooks already offers the only APTA credentialed orthopaedic Physical Therapy in the state of Florida.  These programs help contribute to the highly specialized experts on staff here at Brooks, making us truly a leader in health and rehabilitation.  For more information about the Brooks Neurology residency program click here.

Brooks Offers Free Wrist and Elbow Screens in April

In honor of National Occupational Therapy Month, Brooks is offering free wrist and elbow screens at select outpatient locations.  These screenings will provide early detection of issues and simple solutions to prevent bigger problems later on.  Screening Locations are West VolusiaBrunswick, GA; and Various Clinics in Duval, St Johns and Clay Counties.  Click here for location information.

Brooks' Doug Baer is Listed as "Ultimate CEO"

On March 20th, 2009 The Jacksonville Business Journal featured Brooks' own CEO Doug Baer as one of Jacksonville Florida's Ultimate CEO's.  Baer is uncomfortable with the designation and quickly defers credit to everyone else in the company.  Since Baer has been CEO, Brooks' revenue has increased significantly.  Baer states that in running a company or running a hot dog stand, service to the customer is what's most important.  His colleagues state that his laser-sharp focus on the quality of care for the patients and staff in addition to his genuine approach to caring and a work-life balance are what make him most extraordinary.  We are proud of our CEO! 



Brooks Clubhouse is Featured in March 2009 Issue of HealthSource Magazine

Jacksonville based magazine HealthSource featured the Brooks Clubhouse in an article titled "Healing the Brain and the Person."  This two page article featured stories from some of the clubhouse members as well as Brooks' professionals involved in the healing.  HealthSource is a monthly free magazine found around the Jacksonville area.   The Brooks Clubhouse is a community of people who have the common goal of enhancing recovery after a brain injury.  The Clubhouse staff provides brain injury support to members; time spent at the Clubhouse serves to help members as they work to re-establish life management skills in their community.  To learn more about the Brooks Clubhouse click here.  To read the article click here and go page 12.

2008 Brooks/UNF Physical Therapy Residency Graduates

On Saturday February 21st 7 neurologic and orthopedic residency students graduated from the Brooks/UNF Physical Therapy residency program.  The orthopaedic residency program was implemented by Brooks in January 2006 and is credentialed by the APTA.  The Neurologic residency was implemented in November 2007.  In keeping with our vision of providing rehabilitation leadership in the community, Brooks residency and fellowship programs are critical methods for developing future clinical leaders in physical therapy.  These programs help to develop future clinical leaders in physical therapy and in return increasing the quality of healthcare services we provide to the community.  Graduates of the neurologic residency are: Beth Ade, Christy Conroy and Kathy Mannion.  Graduates of the orthopaedic residency are: Maria Andino, Brian Hagist, John Kiesel, Raine Osborne.  Congratulations graduates!  Read more about the Brooks/UNF residency program.

Brooks Adaptive Sports Quad Rugby Takes on Rotary Club of Jacksonville
On  February 23rd, the Rotary Club of Jacksonville took on the Brooks Quad Rugby team.  First coast news was there to create a video of the event.  Read more about how the Rotarians found themselves at the mercy of the Brooks squad.



Brooks Begins a Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Journal Club

Open to all actively enrolled physical therapy students adn those outside the Brooks System, the Brooks orhtopaedic physical therapy journal club gathers professionals together in an open forum to discuss current concepts, trends and topics within the literature and practice of orthopaedic physical therapy while also encouraging higher levels of evidence based practice.  The Brooks Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Journal Club is a professional club for Northeast Florida physical therapists working within the domain of orthopaedic physical therapy, which may include outpatient clinics, acute-care/rehabilitation hospitals, and home-health services.  The journal club meets once every other month on Tuesday at the Brooks Family YMCA in Jacksonville.  Future dates are announced about a month in advance.  For more information about the Brooks Orthopaedic physical therapy journal club contact Brian Hagist, PT, MPT at (904) 858-7282 or viaemail

Brooks offers a 2 day Pharmacology in Rehabilitation Seminar at FCCJ February 28 and March 1, 2009 from 8am-5pm

Brooks Rehabilitation will feature Mark S. Nash, Ph.D. FACSM Principal Investigator, Applied Physiology Research.  This opportunity for 12 CEUs is open to other professionals for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology.  Learn moreabout course objectives, registration and directions.

Brooks Fleming Island and Orange Park Outpatient Centers Offering Free Pediatric Screenings January 12th-16th, 2009 10am-7pm.

Brooks Rehabilitation will be offering free physical, speech and occupational therapy screenings at two local outpatient clinics this month. Screenings are open to the community, Brooks staff, famly and friends.  Signs in your child's speech, hearing or physical development that should cause you concern are one or more of the following:

  • Developmental delays in hi/her hand/eye coordination or handwriting skills.
  • Family members or friends have a hard time understanding your child.
  • Your child demonstrates frustration because you don't understand his/her speech.
  • Your child shows no signs of frustration when trying to communicate but you do not understand his/her speech.
  • Your child seems clumsier or falls more than other children.
  • Your child walks on his/her tiptoes frequently.
  • Your child has difficulty coordinating new movements or maintaining balance.
  • Your child is not hitting the same milestones as his/her friends.

Call one of these outpatient clinics to schedule your appointment for a FREE 15 minute screening:Orange Park Brooks Rehabilitation or Fleming Island Brooks Rehabilitation.

Brooks Outpatient Rehabilitation Sites Participate in Toys for Tots

Six of Brooks Outpatient Rehabilitation Sites will be toy drop spots for the 2008 Christmas Season.  Every year the Toys for Tots Program, administered by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, collects new and unwrapped toys during October, November and December.  These toys are then distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in Northeast Florida.  Between now and Christmas, purchase a new, unopened gift and bring it to any one of the following Brooks outpatient locations: 
San Pablo
Amelia Island

Ponte Vedra Beach
Brooks Balance Center
Brooks Center for Sports Therapy

For a full listing of Toys for Tots drop spots in Northeast Florida click here.

Brooks Club House Now Open

The Brooks Clubhouse opened to the community in October 2008.   Brooks Clubhouse is a full-time day program that provides for the long-term recovery needs of individuals who have suffered from an acquired neurological injury.  There are three primary work units at the Brooks Clubhouse: Kitchen/Dietary, Business/Clerical, and Facilities Maintenance and Product Production.  Each of these work units will have anywhere from 5-15 members working daily, side-by-side with staff and volunteers, to accomplish the daily work at the clubhouse.  The Brooks Clubhouse  is located conveniently near the intersection of Beach Blvd. and St. Johns  Bluff.  For more information about the Brooks Clubhouse click here.  The Florida Times Union recently wrote a story on the clubhouse and featured some of the members of the club house. 



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Special guests, the USA Wheelchair Rugby Team, have medaled in all 3 Paralympic Games since Rugby became a medal sport in 2000 at the Sydney, Australia Games (2 Gold and 1 Bronze). They also took Gold at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games where rugby made its debut as and exhibition sport.

The USA Wheelchair Rugby program has a 52 – 2 record since coach James Gumbert took over in 2005. The team recently won the gold medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing China after beating powerhouse Australia 53 – 44. Come out and get in the action! 

 Brooks Club House Now Open

The Brooks Clubhouse opened to the community in October 2008.   Brooks Clubhouse is a full-time day program that provides for the long-term recovery needs of individuals who have suffered from an acquired neurological injury.  There are three primary work units at the Brooks Clubhouse: Kitchen/Dietary, Business/Clerical, and Facilities Maintenance and Product Production.  Each of these work units will have anywhere from 5-15 members working daily, side-by-side with staff and volunteers, to accomplish the daily work at the clubhouse.  The Brooks Clubhouse  is located conveniently near the intersection of Beach Blvd. and St. Johns  Bluff.  For more information about the Brooks Clubhouse click here.  The Florida Times Union recently wrote a story on the clubhouse and featured some of the members of the club house. 

Out of the Chair and Into the Water

Brooks Adaptive Sports recently sponsored a free waterskiing clinic designed specifically for the physically disabled.  More than 20 individuals participated in this day long event.  Brooks sponsored the event at Victory Lake in conjunction with U Can Ski 2.  Volunteers were on hand to ease participants into chair like rigs with skis and braced them for a water-splashed ride.  To learn more about this event as well as other Adaptive Sports activities click here.  The Times Union also printed an article about this event that includes more photos from the event.

Brooks Partners With the Wounded Warriers Project for TRACK Program

In August of 2008, the Wounded Warrior Project launched TRACK.  TRACK stands for Training Rehabilitation and Advocacy Center.  It is located on Jacksonville's southside.  The TRACK program offers wounded warriors an integrated approach to address long-term needs for education and training, advocacy, and secondary rehabilitative care for the mind, body and spirit.  There are currently 17 warriers in the group called a "cohort."  Brooks' will be providing a place where members can go for classes or rehab that the Wounded Warriors program cannot provide onsite.  For more information visit the Wounded Warrior Website.

They Will Surf Again in Jacksonville Beach

More than two dozen individuals with physical disabilities had the opportunity to experience the ocean and to try their hand at surfing recently. They Will Surf Again (TWSA) is a no-cost program underwritten by Life Rolls On (LRO) and generous sponsors such as Brooks Rehabilitation. People of all ages who have a spinal cord injury or other mobility impairment gathered for a day of surfing. – Many of the participants are current and former Brooks patients. Some have not surfed since their injury, some have never surfed, some surf all the time. TWSA connects dozens of volunteers with a handful of injured surfers for a day of excitement, joy, and best of all, surf! On Saturday, May 10, more than 200 volunteers from several organizations were on hand to safely guide the surfers to shore. A wonderful time was had by all. Local sponsors of the event included: Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program, Sisters of the Sea, Jacksonville Christian Surfers Association and EPIC Surf Ministries To take part in future surf events or other weekly adaptive sports activities sponsored by the Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program contact Alice.Krauss@brookshealth.org or 904-910-9738.

Deliver the Dream Announces Jeans & Dreams Gala

Deliver the Dream, a not-for-profit retreat program serving Jacksonville families facing serious illness or crisis, will host its annual Jeans & Dreams Gala on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 6:00 pm at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are currently available at $200 per person and all net proceeds will benefit Deliver the Dream's unique family retreat program.

This exciting evening of formal denim, dining, dancing, silent and live auctions, and live entertainment will kick-off with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Emceed by the voice of the Jacksonville Jaguars Brian Sexton and First Coast News anchor Angela Spears, the program with begin with Dinner at 7:30 p.m., followed by a live auction, dancing, and entertainment including comedian and musician Gary Mule Deer.

"Deliver the Dream's ability to help Jacksonville families living with a serious illness or crisis is undeniably dependant upon the generous support of the community members caring for one another," said Pat Moran, founder of Deliver the Dream.

Proceeds from the Jeans & Dreams Gala will be used for retreats for local Jacksonville families who are referred by Deliver the Dream's Jacksonville non-profit partners, including American Cancer Society, Brooks Rehabilitation of Jacksonville, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (North Florida Chapter), Nemours Children's Clinic, St. Vincent's Medical Center and Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Through consistent advocacy, stewardship and productive partnerships, Deliver the Dream delivers highly effective programs that enable those undergoing crisis or chronic illness to regain strength, mend spirits and become families and kids again. The generosity of Deliver the Dream's financial contributors, including corporate and community partners, allows families to attend a retreat free of charge. In addition, more than 600 volunteers and 16 national non-profit partners help make the work of Deliver the Dream possible. To date, more than 3,200 family participants have benefited from Deliver the Dream's retreat program.

For more information about Deliver the Dream, please visit www.deliverthedream.org.

Brooks Rehabilitation and the Jacksonville Jaguars Invite Kids to Play Smart! Stay Safe!

Brooks Rehabilitation and the Jacksonville Jaguars are teaming up to help children play safe and avoid head injuries. Together, they are hosting Play Smart! Stay Safe!, a free child safety event on May 3 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Jaguars' practice field. Kids ages 4-16 can get custom-fitted for a sports safety helmet. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated and will support Mothers Against Brain Injury. There will be activities for parents, too, with demonstrations on how to properly install child car seats.

"It doesn't take much to have a serious brain injury that can permanently change a child's life," says Marion Anderson, executive director of community health for Brooks Rehabilitation. "In fact, a child slowly riding a bike and falling only two feet can incur a traumatic brain injury. This event will show kids and parents how to play safe."

The event will feature Jaguars player Mike Peterson, and Jaxson de Ville will make a special appearance from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kids and parents can enjoy clowns, refreshments and other games.

"The Jacksonville Jaguars know first hand the importance of protective equipment and how it can help reduce injuries," said Macky Weaver, Jaguars executive director of corporate sponsorship. "We want to help kids understand that wearing a helmet is not just for the football field. It is the best protection kids can have when riding a bike, scooter or skating."

According to Safe Kids USA, almost half of all children hospitalized for bike-related injuries suffer from a serious brain injury, and almost 60 percent of bicycle related deaths result from head injuries. Although wearing a helmet is the easiest way to reduce head injuries, only about 15 to 25 percent of kids wear helmets when riding a bike.

If you're interested in attending Play Safe! Stay Smart!, call 858-7788 to reserve your spot.

Brooks Builds First Green Health Care Building in Jacksonville

Jacksonville-based, Brooks Rehabilitation is breaking ground on the first the first green building registered for LEED certification on a healthcare campus in Northeast Florida. The $14.8 million administration building will follow the nationally accepted benchmark: the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ -- for the design, construction and operation of the facility.

The nearly 47,000 square-foot building will serve as the corporate headquarters for the Brooks Health System's 143-bed Rehabilitation Hospital and its 24 outpatient clinics located from Southeast Georgia throughout Florida. Some of the environmental benefits of building green include improved air and water quality, and conserving natural resources. "While this project is very exciting for us as good stewards of our resources; we are even more excited about being able to move our administrative employees into a central location adjacent to the hospital," said Doug Baer, president and CEO of Brooks.

As the region's premier rehabilitation provider, Brooks has been responding to increased need for its services. The new administration building is one of three construction projects making up nearly $25-million-dollars worth of projects on the Brooks hospital campus. For the past several months the hospital has been undergoing an $8.7 million renovation to convert most patient rooms into private rooms. Brooks has also done an extensive $1.4 million renovation to its Health Care Plaza Outpatient Clinic located just a few blocks from the hospital. Because of all the construction, nearly 100 Brooks employees have been relocated. When the building is finished in July of 2009, they will all be in a central location, adjacent to the main hospital.

The team of Gresham Smith & Partners, Architects and Interior designers, McVeigh & Mangum's Engineers, Fickling Construction and representatives from Brooks have worked together throughout the design of the project to assure that goals and objectives of green design are met. In addition to office space, the four-floor facility will also feature a large training center for hospital employees and community events, and a new main visitor entry that will showcase Brooks and its community involvement.

Congratulations Brooks C.R.R.N.s!

In honor of National Certified Rehabilitation Nursing Day, Brooks would like to thank all of our C.R.R.N.s. We are very proud to say that 45 of our 108 nurses have achieved C.R.R.N. status. That's nearly 50 percent! Certification in rehabilitation nursing shows employers, colleagues, patients, and the public that they are committed to excellence in caring for people with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses. It indicates that they are an experienced rehabilitation or restorative nurse who has achieved a level of knowledge in this practice area. Congratulations and thank you!

Brooks Adaptive Sports Program, Giddy up!

The Brooks Adaptive Sports Program recently visited the Palm Valley Ranch in Elkton, Florida. Six participants, five of which were in wheelchairs, had the opportunity to get in the saddle and ride a horse. The ranch even constructed a special ramp so that participants could transfer from their chairs to the saddle. Alice Krauss, Manager, Brooks Adaptive Sports Program was pleased with the day's event.

"If smiles are any indication, the day was a huge success. We hope to make this a regular event," said Krauss.
Learn more about the Brooks Adaptive Sports Program.

Brooks makes $16.5 million donation to First Coast YMCA

Brooks Rehabilitation is donating its 60,000 square foot Brooks Health and Fitness Center to the YMCA - one of the First Coast's largest community service organizations. The donation, worth over $16.5 million and the largest donation ever made to the First Coast YMCA, provides the basis for an exciting expansion of Brooks and YMCA programs and services throughout the community. Effective immediately, the facility will be renamed the "Brooks Family YMCA".

After 35 years as the region's only hospital-based rehabilitation provider, Brooks has expanded its scope of services to include prevention of disabling conditions to services for those with disabilities who have returned home. "In order to have the greatest impact on the health and wellness of the broader community, we determined that a gift to the YMCA with its existing network of 18 facilities and 65 program locations would best accomplish our goal," said Brooks president and CEO, Doug Baer. "We share a vision to make Jacksonville the healthiest city in the United States. This donation allows us to expand our vital programs such as Adaptive Sports, wellness, and injury prevention in multiple YMCA's."

Brooks and the YMCA will strive to build a coalition of local partners and healthcare providers to collaborate on an ambitious effort to improve the health of our community through healthy living and weight reduction programs. Brooks and the YMCA have a goal to serve more than 10,000 residents with clinically proven and outcome-based programs within three years, many of whom may not otherwise have access to wellness services.

The gift follows in the tracks of other major donations made by Brooks Rehabilitation. This fall Brooks reached a research agreement with the University of Florida and the College of Medicine-Jacksonville resulting in a $4 million donation to fund rehabilitation research at the Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies. In 2006, Brooks donated a total of $2.5 million to five area acute-care hospitals. And Brooks has donated $5.3 million to the UNF College of Health to advance the education of healthcare professionals in our region. In honor of this gift, it is now called the Brooks College of Health.

"We are so appreciative to Brooks for this tremendous gift, which will help us contribute to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities," said Paul McEntire, interim CEO of the YMCA of Florida's First Coast. "The YMCA's strengths are the people we bring together, the local community needs we meet, and the variety of ways we can make our community a healthier, safer better place to live - this gift helps us accomplish all of these goals in even bigger and better ways."

This gift will be leveraged by the YMCA for future fundraising. It also provides funds to expand healthy living, injury prevention, and Adaptive Sports programs throughout the First Coast YMCA and the broader community.

Brooks and the University of Florida Reach Research Agreement

Brooks Rehabilitation and the University of Florida have reached a new five-year agreement that will position the Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies, in collaboration with UF, as a world-class research facility.

The agreement increases funding for the Brooks Center by more than $5 million over five years. As part of its Community Benefit initiative, Brooks will provide $4 million in funding and UF, through its Health Science Center colleges, will provide more than $1 million. The funding will be used to support research taking place in both Brooks' and UF facilities.

"We are pleased to further develop our relationship with the University of Florida and look forward to the increased research capabilities we will share," said Brooks CEO & president, Doug Baer. "Our investment in the Center's growth will bring the latest innovations to our patients."

Robert C. Nuss, M.D., dean of the regional campus at the UF Health Science Center-Jacksonville, cited the excellent opportunity the expanded relationship offers Brooks and UF. "The benefits are tremendous for both parties, with the Center's research projects focusing primarily on stroke and other neurological conditions, relating to the population served by both Brooks and UF," he said. "In addition, this arrangement provides an excellent opportunity for us to maximize collaboration between our own Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses."

The agreement will result in the addition of six dedicated, doctoral-level researchers and support staff working at the Brooks Center and at UF Health Science Center-Jacksonville. Now that the agreement is finalized, the search for a full-time Brooks Center director will begin.

The Center's mission and vision include a focus on research and improvement of the continuum of care, leading to optimal outcomes and functional improvements for its patients. More than 20 active research trials are currently under way at the Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies, including 10 stroke-related studies. With this new agreement, Brooks is poised to become a major research entity, and to serve its community through this partnership.


Brooks Welcomes Sarala Srinivasa, M.D. to Brooks Rehabilitation Specialists

Sarala Srinivasa, M.D. recently joined Brooks Rehabilitation Specialists as a physician. Dr. Srinivasa comes to Brooks from private practice in Jacksonville. She is currently the Vice President of the Medical Staff of Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital and previously served as the Brooks Medical Director, Stroke Services in 2005 and early 2006.

Prior to coming to Jacksonville in 2002, Dr. Srinivasa served as the Medical Director, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis from 1999 to 2002. She has also served in multiple assignments as a Physiatrist since she began her practice in 1985.

Dr. Srinivasa is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She maintains admitting privileges at Brooks and Shands hospitals as well as consulting privileges at Memorial, Specialty, St. Luke's and St. Vincent's hospitals.

All of us at Brooks are excited to have her join the practice. Dr. Srinivasa will care for a variety of patients across multiple programs.

Brooks Community Health Makes a Significant Contribution to the local ACHE June Meeting

Congratulations to the Brooks Community Health Department for planning a successful panel discussion at the June American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) meeting which focused on Community Benefit Reporting.

The team from Brooks was outstanding in their commitment to success of the event.

  • Brian Fuller, Director of Business Development for Brooks played a key role in designing the program while Betsy Fallon, Vice-President of Strategic Planning, Marketing and Community Health served as the event moderator.
  • Tthe team from Brooks worked to maximize the educational value for program participants.
  • The team from Brooks recognized that not all participants would be familiar with the topic. As a result, they developed a summary on Community Benefit Reporting. The use of topic briefings has since been adopted as a best practice that will be used for educational events in the future.

A big thank you to Brooks Health System for their support of the North Florida Chapter!!

Click here for more information.

Celebrate Independence 2007 A Success!

The 2007 Celebrate Independence was a tremendous success! Keynote Speaker, Legendary Climber Aron Ralston shared his amazing story, and inspired us all. Ralston's appearance was made possible by Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Torchbearers Honored


After Ralston's address, the 2007 Torchbearer awards were presented. The Torchbearer Award is given to former rehabilitation patients who have not only met the challenges of rehabilitation, but have taken their life experience to the next level to make a difference in the lives of others.

Torchbearers have demonstrated their care and concern by supporting others who may be facing similar trials. A Torchbearer is one who shares their experiences in overcoming emotional and physical challenges. These are special people who have held the torch of overcoming obstacles themselves, passed it along to the next runner and helped them on their way.

This year, two outstanding individuals who exemplify these traits were honored, Mr. Eugene Brown and Mr. Cedric Livingston.

Attendees watched demonstrations of adaptive sports and rehabilitation therapies, learned about local resources and services available to people with disabilities, and attended seminars on topics such as the latest in prosthetics, disability and sexuality, managing chronic pain, research breakthroughs in stroke recovery, and advances in diabetes treatment.

Thank you to all who attended and made Celebrate Independence possible!

Brooks/UNF Orthopaedic Residency Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has approved the Brooks/ University of North Florida Orthopaedic Residency Program as an APTA-credentialed post-professional clinical residency program. Brooks Rehabilitation launched the Brooks/UNF Orthopaedic Residency Program in January of 2007. "Receiving our accreditation this early in our development is a great honor, and it makes our program even more valuable to our residents" said Program Manager, Bob Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, FAAOMPT.

The Physical Therapy Orthopaedic Residency is a one year program in which experienced physical therapists research and apply highly sophisticated therapy skills, focused on a specialized group of patients such as orthopaedics, back pain, or hand therapy. The Physical Therapy Orthopaedic Residency is one of many joint ventures between Brooks and the Brooks College of Health at UNF. The University offers several components including library access, gross anatomy lab and faculty to support the residents' learning and mentoring experiences. "Because of our association, the students are enrolled simultaneously within the residency and as students within the UNF Graduate program", said A. Russell Smith, Jr., PT, Ed.D., OCS, FAAOMPT, assistant professor at the Brooks College of Health.

Students in the Orthopaedic Residency represent a wide range of experience from beginning their careers to longtime Brooks employees, like Lori Hurtak, the Manager of the Brooks Mandarin Clinic. "The training and knowledge I have gained while taking part in the program have really helped me to improve the care we give to patients at our clinic. I really appreciate the opportunity Brooks has given me to take part in this unique program," said Hurtak.

There are only 41 clinical residency and fellowship programs in the country, two of which are located in Florida: one in St. Augustine and one in Miami. Brooks is currently one of the largest Orthopaedic Residency programs credentialed by the APTA with six residents as compared with most programs which have one or two students enrolled. The Brooks residents are undergoing the rigorous, year-long, advanced training program that includes intense didactic and hands-on learning as well as clinical mentoring. In the fall of 2007, Brooks is launching a Neurologic Residency with an additional five residents. Brooks plans to add a total of seven Physical Therapy Clinical Residency and four Fellowship Programs in multiple specialty areas. The program will cost Brooks an estimated $200,000 for the first year.

This effort is being led by Bob Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, FAAOMPT, a highly credentialed, widely published, and well-known member of the APTA. Rowe joined Brooks in July of 2006 following an extensive academic career, most recently at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rowe received his PT degree at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in 1985 and completed his Master of Health Science in PT in 1994, also at LSUHSC. He completed an orthopaedic residency through the Ola Grimsby Institute (OGI) in 1997 and in 1999 he completed an Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Spine Fellowship also through the OGI. In 2001, Bob successfully defended his dissertation and was granted the Doctorate of Manual Therapy through the OGI. He is currently enrolled in the MGH IHP t-DPT program with expected completion in 2007. Bob has been an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (AAOMPT) since 1995. He was recognized as a Fellow of the AAOMPT in 2001.

Currently the APTA credentials programs who meet the standards and guidelines set forth within the various specialty areas of practice. The residency/fellowship training is similar to the medical model in that licensed physical therapists who have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program will enter the residency training to attain advanced training within a specialty area of practice. The Brooks program will markedly advance the clinical and critical thinking skills of the participants who complete the program and also develop future educators.


Brooks Presents Stroke Community Health Summit

More than 225 Jacksonville area residents turned out for the Brooks Rehabilitation Community Health Summit titled "When Stroke Strikes". As a non-profit organization, Brooks is dedicated to giving back to the community in a variety of ways. This free event will provide an excellent opportunity for members of the community to become educated about stroke, including warning signs and treatment.

Experts from Brooks, the Mayo Clinic and Shands-Jacksonville discussed the latest in stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Presentations included:

Scott Silliman, MD - "Stroke: Why and How it Occurs"
Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine
Director of Comprehensive Stroke Program at Shands-Jacksonville

Thomas Brott, MD - "Drugs and New Devices for the Emergency Treatment of Stroke"
Director of Research, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
Professor of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Trevor Paris, MD - "Advances in Stroke Rehabilitation"
Board Certified Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Medical Director of the Stroke Program at Brooks
Rehabilitation Hospital



Brooks Sponsors First Ever Northeast Florida Handcycle Race and Clinic

Brooks Rehabilitation is proud to be the Title Sponsor for the first ever Northeast Florida Handcycle Race and Clinic on April 14, 2007 in front of The Jacksonville Landing. The criterium race is one of eight events in the United States Handcycling Federation National Race Series. Elite athletes, including Monique Van der Voorst, the current world champion, and several paralympians with world and national championship titles will be participating along with local and regional athletes of all skill levels.

The televised race will be held on a flat, fast course in front of the Jacksonville Landing with upwards of 10,000 spectators expected. $2300.00 in prize money will be awarded. The Handcycle Clinic will be taught by three elite athletes and will give novice and expert athletes the opportunity to learn from the best. Race information and on-line registration are available at www.jacksonvillecyclingclassic.com. Clinic information and registration is available at (904) 910-9738.

Handcycling is a fully integrated sport, meaning that athletes with disabilities participate alongside able-bodied athletes. This type of inclusive event is consistent with the Brooks' community reintegration philosophy of rehabilitation.

The Handcycle Race and Clinic are the latest events to be offered by the new Brooks Adaptive Sport and Recreation Program, which was launched January 1, 2007. Through this community health initiative, Brooks hopes to improve the physical and social-emotional well-being of individuals with disabilities in the Jacksonville community. Brooks recognizes that providing these opportunities is a key element of improving the quality of life for the disabled members of our community.

Brooks Launches Adaptive Sport and Recreation Program

Brooks Rehabilitation is now offering Adaptive Sport and Recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the Jacksonville community. Current activities include: Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Handcycling, Wheelchair Tennis, Adaptive Rowing and Wheelchair Fencing. Future plans include: Adaptive Golf, Waterskiing, Surfing, Hunting, Fishing, Kayaking, Softball, Soccer and more.

This program is designed to meet the needs of disabled individuals in the community for adaptive sport, leisure and recreation. The program will consist of Brooks initiatives as well as collaborating with already existing programs by increasing awareness, access and recruitment.

Individuals of all ages and abilities are welcome. Participation at the recreational and competitive level is available. If you would like more information please contact Alice Krauss at (904) 910-9738 or Alice.Krauss@brookshealth.org.

Four-year-old crash victim finally going home

She nearly died on Christmas Eve when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the back of her family's Volvo. Now, after weeks of being in a coma and undergoing intensive physical therapy, Stefanie Schneid is going home. Read more

Brain injured children thrive at rehab center

Audrey Q is doing things that just three weeks ago seemed nearly impossible.A debilitating brain injury from complications brought on by Lupus left the girl, 13, in serious condition.At Brooks Rehabilitation Center Audrey is making progress. Read more

Brooks presents Gary Carp’s “Life on Wheels”

The Brooks Rehabilitation Spinal Cord Injury Program was proud to host a lecture by Gary Karp, a well known keynote speaker with paraplegia. The event, titled "Life on Wheels", was sponsored by the Christopher Reeve Foundation and was held on Wednesday, January 24.

Karp, who broke his back at age 18, told his story of injury and rehabilitation and shared his personal and professional journey of adjustment and breaking through the negative social assumptions about disability. In addition to telling his own story, Karp also put disability in its historical context, presenting it as a human saga that has been marked by radical change in recent times. Thankfully, these changes have been for the better and have greatly expanded options for the disabled.

Brooks is excited to have hosted this special event in our continuing effort to educate and inspire members of our community.

Brooks launches physical therapy residency program

We are very pleased to announce that the Brooks Residency/Fellowship Admissions Committee has selected the individuals who have been formally chosen to participate in the inaugural class of the Brooks Rehabilitation Orthopaedic Residency program. They are:

  • Jessica Cloutier (Monument Clinic Manager)
  • Anita Davis (Pain Rehabilitation Program)
  • Lori Hurtak (Mandarin Clinic Manager)
  • Ryan Reed (Amelia Island Clinic Manager)
  • David Segars (UNF Student)
  • Mathew Stafford (Mandarin Clinic)

This inaugural class for our Orthopaedic Residency program will begin a 12-month advanced training program in January 2007. It will consist of intense hands-on learning and clinical mentoring within the specialty area of orthopaedics. We are extremely proud all six for accepting this challenge and we hope that you offer each of them your congratulations.

Currently, there are only 41 clinical residency and fellowship programs in the country, two of which are located in Florida. In keeping with our vision of providing rehabilitation leadership to the community, Brooks identified this program as a critical method for developing future clinical leaders in Physical Therapy (PT).

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) names post-professional clinical training programs as one of the primary methods to prepare physical therapists to meet the practice needs of the future. Therapists who complete a Clinical Residency Program and/or Clinical Fellowship Program generally demonstrate superior clinical skills, advanced knowledge in a specific area of clinical practice and the ability to act as advocates and educators to their peers and patients. The Brooks program will markedly advance the clinical and critical thinking skills of the participants who complete the program and also develop future educators.

The next clinical residency program will be in the specialty area of Neurologic rehabilitation and will begin in Fall 2007. Individuals interested in this program should watch for more details to become available in early spring of 2007.

Former spinal cord injury patient runs 6K

Stephanie Diehl was paralyzed after a car accident six years ago. Thanks to her rehabilitation at Brooks, she ran 6K in the Outback Steakhouse Distance Classic on Thanksgiving Day. Read more

Dream career comes later in life

Ann McLamb’s mission is to keep others healthy

Ann McLamb, exercise specialist at Brooks Health & Fitness, found her dream career at nearly 60 years old. Read more (page 8)

Brooks donates $2.5 million to five area hospitals


Gary Sneed, Chairman of the Board at

Brooks Rehabilitation, announces the $2.5

million gift.

Brooks Rehabilitation is donating $2.5 million to five area non-profit hospitals. Brooks has identified Baptist Health, Flagler Hospital, the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, and St. Vincent's Medical Center in the region to receive $500,000 each over the next 5 years. Brooks is committed to improving access to outstanding healthcare on the First Coast, especially for those living with disabilities or at risk of developing a disability.

The $500,000 gifts will be used by the five hospitals in a variety of ways that will help transform healthcare in our community:

  • The gift to St Vincent's will support their Outreach Ministries, which brings healthcare to the doorsteps of our most vulnerable citizens and those who would otherwise have no access to care.
  • The Shands gift will support community outreach, prevention, and education programs related to neurological diseases.
  • The donation to the Mayo Clinic will support joint research with Brooks to study the best treatment options for one of the most deadly types of stroke.
  • The Flagler donation will support the renovation of a building dedicated to offering cardiac rehabilitation and employee and community wellness services.
  • The gift to Baptist will be used to support its "Expanding our Circle of Care Campaign", which will increase access to health care in our community.

“Brooks has long shared a vision with these five exemplary non-profit institutions, a vision to continuously improve our healthcare system for the benefit of everyone in the First Coast,” said Brooks President and CEO Doug Baer. “These donations will strengthen the front line of defense against disability. The cost of permanent disability to our community is huge. With our gift, these providers will be able to increase access to care, prevent these conditions, and advance the science of treatment.”

Brooks Rehabilitation is a non-profit provider with a mission to advance the health and well-being of those requiring rehabilitation through superior outcomes, service, education, and research. For over 35 years, we have helped people return to independence and the community whenever possible. Because of our unique role and expertise in providing rehabilitative care, Brooks is taking a leadership role in finding ways to meet those needs, especially for those in our communities who are underserved.

Brooks Rehabilitation Adaptive Rowing Program

New program will begin at Jacksonville University in Fall 2007.


Scott Brown, an adaptive rowing champion

from Pennsylvania, came to Jacksonville to

speak at the news conference announcing

the Brooks Adaptive Rowing Program at JU

Those who have experienced a disabling injury or illness will soon have a new athletic outlet—adaptive rowing. Brooks Rehabilitation has awarded Jacksonville University (JU) a $221,000 grant to begin an adaptive rowing program on its campus, which sits on the banks of the St. Johns River. Adaptive rowing programs exist around the world, most notably in England, but only a few programs exist in the United States.

James Mitchell, head rowing coach at JU, said, “Adaptive rowing is a unique source of physical activity which can be beneficial in a rehabilitative, recreational or competitive way for those with orthopedic or sensory impairments. We are excited to develop this program and give access to to the city's greatest natural resource, the St. Johns River, to people who may not have previously had that access.”

JU has a rich rowing history, having fielded competitive collegiate men’s and women’s crew since 1956 and 1972 respectively. The Brooks Adaptive Rowing Program at JU will extend and continue this tradition. Kerry Romesburg, president of JU, says, “I am very excited about the potential for this program. We will be building a new rowing center, and we will incorporate the facilities for the adaptive rowing program into it.”

The city of Jacksonville is also partnering with JU and Brooks to develop this program. “It is a great opportunity for us as a city to participate in what, I think, will become a great program for our disabled community to enjoy our waterways,” said Councilman Lake Ray.

Brooks Rehabilitation is committed to expanding the quality of care in our region through community health initiatives. Brooks will continue to look for ways to partner with community organizations to enhance the quality of life for people living with disabilities in the Jacksonville community. Funding for the adaptive rowing program at JU is one of many projects that Brooks has identified as beneficial to persons in our community living with a disability. For example, Brooks has also invested jointly with the University of Florida to develop the Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies, which conducts cutting-edge, patient-centered rehabilitation research in Jacksonville.

“We want Jacksonville to become a model city in terms of the number of opportunities available for our neighbors who have physical impairments,” says Gary Sneed, Chairman of the Board at Brooks Rehabilitation. “The adaptive rowing program brings us one step closer to realizing that goal.” Brooks has also long supported Team Brooks, a wheelchair basketball team. In addition, Brooks is developing a recreational therapy and adaptive sports program at Brooks Health & Fitness.

Training activities for the adaptive rowing program will begin in the fall of 2007 with an emphasis on spending time on the water and learning and developing rowing skills. It is also hoped that the brooks Adaptive Rowing Program at JU could become a training hub for the United States Adaptive Rowing team debuting at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.


Brooks in the News

'Miracle child' recovers from brain injury. Florida Times-Union, Saturday, July 29, 2006.

Doctors said 10-year old Emily Locklear would never recover from a traumatic brain injury. Thanks to treatment at Brooks, they were wrong. Read more


Brooks Celebrates Independence and National Rehabilitation Week

September 18 – 22, 2006

Brooks Rehabilitation celebrated independence on Thursday, September 14. The 14th annual commemoration was a time to celebrate the successful recoveries of thousands of Brooks patients over the years. This year we honored six former patients who have met the challenge of physical rehabilitation-patients whose strength and determination have been a source of encouragement to others. Their stories are truly inspirational. The winners were:

  • Jay Fife, a 33-year-old who was hit while riding his motorcycle at this year's Bike Week by a vehicle that ran a red light while eluding the police. Jay is now pursuing a career in physical rehabilitation.
  • Danny Natal, a 20-year-old who was afflicted with a condition that prevented him from moving any of his limbs. Danny now walks with the aid of a walker.
  • Mitch Roziers, a 19-year-old basketball player who suffered from Guillan Barré Syndrome, which resulted in nearly complete paralysis. Mitch is now living independently and has returned to his college studies.
  • Dr. John Whitley, a stroke victim who had to relearn how to speak and write. Dr. Whitley now volunteers his time at Nassau House, a home for young men who have been in trouble with the law.
  • Hazel Spain, a stroke victim who has volunteered her time to participating in an ongoing, National Institute of Health-funded rehabilitation study.
  • John Trifeletti, who sustained a spinal cord injury in a plane crash. John is currently raising money to send wheelchairs to Argentina.

Celebrate Independence is a homecoming for many of our former patients. Many patients who attended enjoyed seeing their former caregivers and therapists.

In addition to former patients, Brooks also honored those whose work makes a difference in the lives of our patients, including a special volunteer, a business partner who went above and beyond the call of duty and a member of the media whose stories helped educate the public about rehabilitation.

This year's Media Division Honoree was actually a former patient. Barbara Gavan is the Editor of the Florida Times-Union's PrimeTime publication. She has played an integral role in our efforts to get the word out to the community about what rehabilitation really means. After being in a catastrophic car accident 15 years ago, Barbara was admitted to Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital for a two-month stay. She had twelve broken bones, including her leg, shoulder, pelvis and a number of ribs, and she worked vigorously with therapists. The work paid off a year later when Barbara was able to return to her job. With her personal experience with Brooks and rehabilitation, she has a unique perspective on what we do here.

Bette Goedtke is this year's outstanding volunteer winner. You can generally find her in our Gift Shop. Goedtke is a tireless worker who is generous with her time and her good cheer.

Our outstanding business partner winner is Jeff Stout of Fletcher's Medical Supply. Jeff truly extends himself to our patients, and we appreciate the added care that he gives.

Celebrate Independence was a prelude for Rehab Week, a week-long celebration designed to observe the many benefits of rehabilitation and to promote awareness in the community of what rehabilitation is. Rehab Week extends from September 18 to 22, 2006.