Dr. Brickner was the founding Chair of the Department of Community Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, where he established a ground-breaking Homeless/SRO Program. In 1983, Dr. Brickner was chosen to direct the Health Care for the Homeless Demonstration Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Memorial Trust and the US Conference of Mayors. With his team from St. Vincent’s Hospital, he selected projects in nineteen cities and oversaw their implementation of multi-disciplinary primary care efforts that were based upon his own work in New York. The program is regarded as an extraordinarily successful demonstration, having been replicated with the 1987 Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and now including 249 federally funded homeless health care projects nationally.
In 1996, Dr. Brickner received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians’ Network, one among several honors for his many accomplishments as a physician and teacher. In the words of Jim O’Connell, MD, of the Boston HCH Program, Dr. Brickner was “a giant, upon whose shoulders we all stand.” He was the father of the HCH movement, and we join his family in mourning his passing.
We received this write-up of an interview with Dr. Brickner. Please celebrate his life with us today.