By Faith Hatton, posted Nov 23, 2022 on BizFayetteville.com
The town of Pembroke, North Carolina is familiar with the name Howard Brooks. For more than 50 years, Mr. Brooks has been serving the healthcare needs of members of the Pembroke community and beyond. The Founder of what is today known as HealthKeeperz, Brooks began his extensive career in healthcare back in the 1960’s after he graduated from what is now known as the Medical University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy in 1966. Brooks opened a hometown pharmacy originally called the Pembroke Drug Center on West Third St. in Pembroke in 1967, and with the help of a large community base in the western part of Robeson County, the drug store was able to add other healthcare disciplines such as a personal care program, which allowed 300 patients to receive in home care, a medical equipment department, and expand their medical team and leadership. Throughout it all, Brooks has worked to ensure that HealthKeeperz continues to give the company’s patients higher quality of life, dignity, and the clinical excellence they deserve, while also representing the Love of God, love of family, and love of community.
Brooks has a lifetime of service to the community including holding several leadership roles including the Pembroke Gospel Chapel, Lumbee Guaranty Bank, and the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He established the Brenda B. Brooks Distinguished Professorship at UNC-Pembroke in honor of his late wife, as well as the Howard Brooks Endowed Scholarship at Medical University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy.
Mr. Brooks was also given North Carolina’s greatest individual distinction as the first inductee into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2017.
Now, after retiring, Howard Brooks has passed the torch to his son Tim Brooks who has taken on the role of President of HealthKeeperz.
GFBJ: What are you up to these days?
BROOKS: What we do now is, we have two bible studies during the week and church activities most days and that’s mostly what we do, and we enjoy doing that. Here in Fayetteville, we go down to the Lumber River. We’ve got a boat, but we don’t fish. We like to eat fish, but we don’t do much catching them.
GFBJ: What is one thing you’ve enjoyed most over the course of your career?
BROOKS: The most satisfying thing, we have patients who come up and now say ‘You extended credit to my parents when they couldn’t pay.’ That was when they were children and they remember how much they needed it back then, and now we have them come to me and say ‘Well, you did so and so for us,’ and it’s something that I don’t even remember. And it’s those testimonies, and those kinds of things just make your day.
GFBJ: Any golden nuggets of wisdom you would like to share?
BROOKS: Just do what your heart is leading you to do, whatever your vocation may be.
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