OSF names heart-transplant recipient as new regional medical director

Local News

OSF HealthCare has named Dr. Harley Brooks, chief medical officer and regional medical director of Specialty Services in Galesburg, Monmouth and Kewanee, Ill.

This includes leading medical affairs for OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center, OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center and OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center, beginning Dec. 14, a news release says.

Brooks brings a unique perspective as someone who himself had a complex health condition – one that required him to undergo a heart transplant which he received on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Brooks will oversee clinical operations including ensuring care management, specialty care and support programs are in place to meet the health care needs of the region. As a member of the executive board at each hospital, he also will provide oversight for consistent use of best practices for medical care as well as quality and safety.

Most recently, Brooks served as medical director of Care Management and physician advisor at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago.

“We are excited to have Dr. Brooks join us to lead the great work at OSF HealthCare St. Mary, Saint Luke and Holy Family Medical Centers,” said Roxanna Crosser, OSF HealthCare western region CEO. “Brooks has deep experience in critical care, quality and safety, and care management that should help us meet the challenges of providing excellent, patient-centered care for residents in our rural communities, including those who have complex health conditions.”

The native of Nashville always had a great way with patients and his fellow doctors, but Brooks said his transplant forced him to think about redefining his career as a physician. Therefore, he decided to make the transition from direct patient care including working overnight shifts into administrative work so that he could take better care of himself.

“I learned very quickly there is greater good I can do through administrative work,” Brooks shared. “I learned that by raising the expectations for quality care among many physicians that we improve the health of communities we serve.”

His experience as a patient also has given him a unique perspective as an administrative physician. “Being in the hospital for 51 nights truly made me a patient advocate as well as an advocate for nurses and doctors. It helped me empathize more with the things patients go through and to ask doctors more questions,” according to the former urgent care hospitalist.

Brooks earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and his MBA degree in health care management from Loyola University in Chicago. His connection to OSF dates to his residency in Internal Medicine-Pediatrics which he completed at Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria in 1999 so this is, as he put it, “like a homecoming for me.”

Brooks’ appointment follows the retirement of Dr. Cliff Martin who served OSF HealthCare since 2016. Throughout his career, Martin held leadership roles, in addition to practicing obstetrics and gynecology. Martin is credited with successfully recruiting new health care providers while maintaining a commitment to evidence-based quality improvements and positive communication.

His communication skills were regularly put to use during the past six months, with weekly radio appearances to keep communities informed about the latest developments concerning COVID-19.

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