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Obituary | Courtney W. Brown, MD

Courtney W. Brown, MD

Dr. Courtney W. Brown, SRS Past President, passed away on November 15, 2022 after a brief illness with COVID-19. He was 87 years old.  He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Ingrid, two sons and one daughter.

Dr. Brown was born on July 24, 1935, in New York City and spent his childhood and adolescence in Scarsdale, New York, and Washington D.C. He graduated from Scarsdale High School and then from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1956. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1962 and did his internship and orthopaedic surgery residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City (1962-1967).

 During the Vietnam War, he served in the United States Air Force, first at Orlando Air Force Base and then a year at U-Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand. Upon his discharge he, Ingrid and the children traveled the West, visiting various cities and medical practices. They decided to make Colorado their home. He joined Lakewood Orthopedic Clinic in 1970, which later adopted the name Panorama Orthopedic and Spine Center when it moved to Golden, Colorado in 2000. He worked there for 40 years specializing in spine. Even though he officially retired in 2008, he continued to see patients, particularly those with traumatic spinal injuries at Craig Hospital.

He was a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons (ABJS), and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). He became an active member of the SRS in 1976 and was an emeritus member at his death. He served as SRS President in 1999. He was also the AAOS member of the Board of Trustees to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).

He loved skiing and founded Blue River Trauma Society, which combined helicopter skiing in Canada with medical seminars. For several years he volunteered for the U.S. Ski Team. In the summers, his passion was golf – often in special and exotic places, such as the Lakewood Country Club and Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was also a member of the SRS golf group and along with the late Ed Dawson and Bob Gaines, arranged the SRS golf tournament for many years.

In addition to his interest in golf and skiing, he was very much interested in education and was involved in the teaching of pedicle screw and thoracoscopic techniques. He was the first editor of SRS Surgical Techniques Manual as the Chair of the Instrumentation Committee. He was also one of the first Senior SRS Travelling Fellows.

Overall, he was an exceptional mentor and innovator. His dynamic personality, enthusiasm, and candor, as well as his kind and embracing character, will be sorely missed.

Written By: Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD, Jay Shapiro, MD, George H. Thompson, MD