Had he had his way, Niagara Falls pediatrician Dr Edward Brown would have quietly walked out the door without a fuss last week to celebrate his retirement.
His friends and colleagues, however, had none of that. Many of those who have seen the doctor’s impact on his young patients and their families over 36 years of service were determined that the community should know the kind of man who ended his career at the Niagara Falls Community Health Center on Highland Avenue.
The pediatrician’s boss, Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO of Buffalo Inc.’s Community Health Center, felt it was important to honor such a remarkable employee.
“As the CEO of a health center, you only get the chance to have someone like Dr. Brown on your team once in your life,” Ansari said. “His dedication to this community and his profession is an example of excellence that remains unparalleled and will be irreplaceable.”
The Community Health Center of Niagara, where Brown worked, is one of four federally supported clinics that provide local health care to underserved communities with locations in Cheektowaga, Lockport, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and it now quietly attests to its service. brown.
In late August, days before the end of his 36-year career in Niagara Falls, which included 21 years as a pediatrician at Planned Parenthood, a celebration was held with local dignitaries to honor the doctor through the pediatric ward of the Niagara Falls center in his name. . It is now called the Dr. Edward I. Brown Pediatric Wing.
His friend, Dr. Leon Smith, a fellow deacon at New Hope Baptist Church on Buffalo Avenue, called the doctor “iconic” in Niagara Falls.
“We’ve had three well-known African-American doctors in Niagara Falls,” Smith explained, adding Brown’s name to Dr. Charles B. Hayes and Dr. Clayburn Booth.
“These three African-American doctors are iconic in Niagara Falls,” he said. “I really hope that another African-American doctor will come to serve the Niagara Falls community.”
Brown has a loyal following of patients, many of whom have become parents themselves. “He’s probably looked after three or four generations of people in the city, especially single mothers,” said Karla Thomas, director of outreach and marketing for downtown Niagara Falls. “It’s almost like he’s a local celebrity,” she said of Brown. “Everyone knows him because he took care of all the children.”
The pediatrician’s care for his patients went beyond just doing his job, Thomas explained. “Some people have an innate natural love for people that just shines through. He’s one of those people who quietly enters the room, but you know the atmosphere has changed. Suddenly there’s a certain kindness in the air,’ she said.
Brown is humble about his ability to connect with his young patients, noting that the secret is to keep them as relaxed as possible. He said he told them funny jokes, like looking in their ears to check for earwax and announcing they have potatoes in their ears. Giving shots is not that easy.
“A lot of times they get vaccinations and they’re afraid of that, but you’re just trying to make them feel comfortable and loved,” he said.
A mother, whose three daughters were patients of Dr. Brown—usually when he ran a children’s ward at Planned Parenthood in Niagara Falls—was pleased to add her credit to Brown.
“He was like those loving, kind doctors you sometimes see on TV shows,” said Tamicka Richardson, whose daughters, Karmicka Magwood, 28, Emmonielle Magwood, 24, and Angellina Ligammare, 12, started seeing the doctor as babies.
“He always had good jokes for the kids. He was always very attentive to the children. He didn’t just talk to me. He made sure that I and the kids understood what was going on.”
Brown admitted that he will miss his patients and their parents and when asked what he would like to say to them, he had these words: “Tell them I thank them for trusting me to take care of their children and that it is a pleasure and a blessing from God.”
While he remains silent about his future plans, other than wanting to spend more time relaxing and enjoying life with his family, which includes his wife and five grown children, there is one thing that those who know him expect to see him on many post-Christmas Sundays. church.
While Brown was commended for his faithful church and community service by Pastor Rev. Harvey Kelley at New Hope Baptist Church, where the pediatrician had been a deacon for 20 years, the pastor noted that Brown had another very special talent.
“Besides his medical knowledge, Dr. Brown is a walking football and basketball encyclopedia,” Kelley said.
When asked about his love of sports and especially the Buffalo Bills, the doctor cheered him a little and said simply and enthusiastically, “Go Bills!”