Richard A. Brooks retired Friday from Samaritan Medical Center after 18 successful years working with a variety of the hospitals chief executive officers. He came to the hospital as the administrator of Edward John Noble Hospital in Alexandria Bay in 1994. He leaves as the executive responsible for the nursing home system Samaritan manages and having overseen the construction of the new patient pavilion.
Mr. Brooks expanded his role in 1996, when he became administrator of Samaritan Keep Home and vice president of hospital operations. Then his position was eliminated in a restructuring at the hospital in 1999, but he quickly was rehired to operate the Samaritan Foundation.
In the next year he raised over $1 million to build a cardiac laboratory. In 2004 in addition to his foundation responsibility, he was assigned to become the vice president of community development. Later that year he again became administrator of the Samaritan Keep Home.
As CEOs came and left, Mr. Brooks remained as an active leader doing the work of the hospital and preparing it to move forward. When he returned to the nursing home as administrator, he left behind a foundation well prepared to meet the fundraising challenge required by the $60 million investment the hospital was making in its facilities. He oversaw the new pavilion construction and was involved in Samaritans management of Whispering Pines, the takeover of Mercys Nursing home and development of Samaritan Senior Village project on Dry Hill.
As Mr. Brooks retires, he leaves Jefferson County, Watertown and Samaritan Medical Center a substantially better place than it was on his first day of work.