2018 Southeast Champion for Kids: George Brown, M.D.
There are few pediatricians who have the breadth and depth of experience as Dr. George Brown. Some would say his life was symbolic of the Alaska Children’s Trust ideal. He was a persistent advocate for Alaska’s children. For many years he bombarded legislators and executive branch officials with letters and visits urging the creation of the Trust. During his years of practice in Palmer, he worked with Senator Jay Kerttula to create the statutory framework for the Alaska Children’s Trust.
For over 48 years as a pediatrician, the prevention of child abuse and neglect was a primary focus of his career. George worked tirelessly ensuring our children and families lived in safe, stable and nurturing communities. In the 1960s as a public health physician at the Alaska Native Medical Center, villages in Africa, several states in the lower 48, and his practice in Juneau. George and his wife, Dr. Carolyn Brown, an obstetrics and gynecological physician, were an unstoppable team. They worked and consulted with the pioneers of child abuse prevention and neglect throughout the country. As a result, Dr. Brown was the first recipient of the C. Henry Kempe Award for his work in child abuse prevention. In 2009, he received the Dr. Ray Helfer award which is named after the creator and advocate for the idea of children’s trusts throughout the United States.
Dr. Brown’s passion for our kids was exhibited and lived out in clinical and hospital practice, seemingly eternal weekend and night calls, family counseling, public speaking, teaching, professional writing and community leadership in every community where he lived. He was well-know, for the “high-fives” he exchanged with children across time and continents. He gave medical care to thousands of children and families. He provided forensic evaluations for Child Protection groups, testified in court as expert witness, championed public health vaccinations and fluoridation in the midst of opposition, volunteered at local vaccination fairs and served on the Crime Victims Compensation Commission.
All the while, he lived and talked prevention of child abuse and neglect – in his practice, contacts, newspaper articles, letters to the President, Senate, and House of Representatives, speaking, time with Alaska Legislators and in his personal life.