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Moxy Woman- Lora Brown- April 2011

Medical Doctor (Anesthesiology Trained, Interventional Pain Medicine)
Advocate for the Fight Against Prescription Drug and other Substance Abuse
Patron of the Arts

St. Petersburg, FL


Honesty and integrity are the only things we leave behind when we die ~ Lora Brown, M.D.

Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue!
By Jean Harper

"Honesty and integrity are the only things we
leave behind when we die."
~ Lora Brown

The Green Acres, that many of us remember, is an American television series starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move from New York City to a country farm. The series was broadcast on CBS from 1965 to 1971.The series was about an accomplished New York City attorney, acting on his dream to be a farmer and his glamorous wife, dragged unwillingly from the privileged city life she adored to a farm.

The song goes as below and you can guess which character is singing which part:

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

...The chores.
...The stores.
...Fresh air.
...Times Square

You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.

I can’t help but imagine Lora Brown’s dad singing this song when he relocated his family from beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to the mountains of Western North Carolina. I guess his prestigious position as a criminal attorney wasn’t exactly what he had in mind for his life. “They bought 100 acres outside Asheville and decided to become tobacco farmers.The next several years, we lived in the boondocks with our nearest neighbor at least a mile away. My father was really a city slicker farmer who credits his success to the generosity of a neighboring farmer who took him under his wing,” Lora explained.

Photo Above- Tobacco Plants planted in NC Red Clay

Lora Lee Brown didn’t have a traditional rearing. After her parents, Rick and Linda Brown met, while students at the University of Florida in Gainesville, they later decided to marry and settle in Linda's hometown of St. Petersburg. This is where Lora and her younger brother, Rick, were born. After her father graduated from law school they moved to Ft. Lauderdale where he practiced as a criminal attorney.  He became disenchanted with the course life was taking and thus the Green Acres lifestyle was their next adventure and the family relocated when Lora was in 3rd Grade. Her love of animals was emphasized on the farm as the family owned a horse, pig, and a cow as well as several dogs.  “We had one of everything.The pig was named “toothpick” and slept with the dogs on the front porch. He thought he was one of the dogs,” she joked.  When Lora’s parents ran out of money in North Carolina and sold off enough of the farm, the family headed off to Texas, where they entered the wood-burning stove/fireplace business.  She told me that because her family moved around so much she became very introverted.  Her father encouraged her to play basketball and she played all through high school. She was later named the smartest athlete for making top grades while playing basketball and other sports.  She attributes sports to changing her from introverted to who she is today.

Photo Above, Lora shooting basketball in high school

Photo Above- Lora- High School Graduation

Lora was raised with the entrepreneurial spirit.  She refers to her father as her “idol.” “I totally trust him. He is a wise businessman and in general he has a knack for analyzing situations- business and other and gives great feedback and advice. I am more like my father, a bit brash at times. When I was just a teenager my father told me to go out and get a job and not to come home until I had one. I got my first job that day as a cashier at K-Mart in the Lawn and Garden Dept. While in Austin I worked 2-3 jobs including jobs as a waitress, bartender, and I cleaned apartments to work my way through college.  I also worked in the factory and in sales for our family business,” she explained. Her brother, Rick Brown, owns Remax Metro as well as a title company. 

Photo Above- Golfing with Dad and Brother- Rick, and friend

Linda Brown is given credit for Lora’s love of the arts. Her mother loves opera and the theater and Lora became a follower of her mother’s passion. Lora is s a supporter of American Stage in St. Petersburg and is committed to the preservation of the arts in her community. In addition, she recalls how she loved making crafts as a young girl which she enjoyed giving as gifts rather than something she could just purchase.

When I asked Lora about her career plans, early on, she told me that her father once told her that she should consider being an oceanographer, so she considered that for a time. Lora initially attended 2 years of college in Finance, then dropped out, almost flunking out. “My father withdrew my financial support and insisted that I work for a living. I returned to work in the family business making blower fans and later into sales of the finished products (fireplaces). I spent a year travelling Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, selling these things out of the back of a van … quite a learning experience,” she said.

The business later tanked and the family liquidated everything and moved back to Florida.  Lora decided to go back to college, this time in Montreal, planning to major in Art History but her father asked her to postpone her plans for 6 months to help the family business.

I asked her about Medical School and she recalled, “One evening while sitting in the hot tub with a good friend of mine who had entered medical school, I was strongly encouraged to give medicine a try.  I wanted to find something that I knew I could enjoy and this sounded good to me.  I applied for Pre-Med at UT Austin, in 1988 was accepted and early on I knew I had found my passion – I loved biology and working in the ER was fulfilling,” she said. She went on to Medical school at the UT Medical Branch in Galveston.  

During summer break before entering medical school Lora moved out to California and performed as an extra in several shows such as Wayne’s World, Sisters and Babylon 5. “I was not that great of an actress," she said laughingly, "but I do love all types of music and theater.” 

It took a while for Lora Lee Brown, MD, to heed the call of medicine. Being free-spirited at heart kept her off track for a while but when she decided to dig in, indeed she did!  “When I was on my own without family financial support, I had to work my way through the rest of college and medical school. Many times, I held several jobs at once and in retrospect, that was very important. I understand the importance of hard work, the value of money, and the significance of honesty and integrity. I learned how to communicate and appreciate people from all walks of life. These skills have boded me well during my career as a physician. Today, I listen to every patient and I am most proud of my relationships with people.”  She went on to graduate Cum Laude from the University of Texas in 1992, and earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston. She completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in anesthesiology at University Hospital in San Antonio before heading to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where she completed a fellowship in pain management, serving as chief fellow. “I never had plans to be a doctor, but I’m glad that I am one,” she now says.

Photo Above- left to right- Mother- Linda Brown, Lora and her Father- Rick Brown- During Graduation from Medical School

 After medical school, Dr. Brown joined St. Anthony’s Hospital and Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for a time and also worked with the Bellaire Surgery Center in Bellaire and Pinellas Bayside Surgery Center in St. Petersburg before branching out professionally. Currently she is a physician partner at Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management in Bradenton, where she treats all types of chronic pain conditions.  In her words, “I am a Doctor of Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology trained, practicing interventional pain medicine, and an expert in spinal pain treatment.  I offer a new technique called “MILD”- minimally invasive lumbar decompression for spinal stenosis which often occurs in people over 50 years of age.”

Video Below- Explanation of "MILD" Procedure

Photo Below- Dr. Brown in Surgery

Photo Above- Dr. Brown consulting with patient and family

Dr. Brown is the immediate past president of the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. She is a member of numerous professional organizations and holds local, state, and national professional board positions in the medical field.   She is a consultant, does research, volunteer work and organized and owns a GPO- Group Purchasing Organization called “The Pain Group” where she and her team negotiate pricing for pain medicine physicians nationwide. She was recently listed in the Top 70 Best in Pain Management in the United States by Becker’s Orthopedic and Spine Review.  She was appointed by previous Governor, Charlie Crist as one of nine members of the Governor’s Task Force to monitor the abuse of prescription drugs and remains active on that cause.  She recently organized “The Pain Truth” a website and resource for people with drug abuse issues. The site includes public service announcements, free educational information, talks, social media and community events across the State.  The Pain Truth has a mission to bring the prescription drug addiction epidemic to the forefront. You can visit the site at:   www.thepaintruth.com

Photo Above- Lora during Keynote Address

Video Above- Dr. Brown gives the keynote address at the
NOPE- Narcotic Overdose Prevention, Red Ribbon
National Candlelight Vigil Oct. 28, 2010

Unlike many physicians I have met, Dr. Lora Brown doesn’t seem to have that much of an “ego”.  After all physicians do “save” lives and make “miracles” happen every day, right? So where is the ego that she is entitled to have?  Maybe it’s the upbringing by her parents that helped make her humble. When I addressed her as Dr. Brown, she responded by letting me know that she goes by “Lorrie” when she is out of her clinic setting.  I was impressed by that as it took her a lot of years and hard work to earn that title.

When I asked her what’s next, she replied, “I would like my legacy to be that I made a difference.” She told me that someday she would like to be a Professor at USF, and ride her bike to work every day.  Her advice for women is, “go for whatever you want to do—no matter your age, you are never too old.”

Photo Above- Lora or "Lorrie" as she prefers to be called, with her beloved pet, Lucas who passed away a couple of years ago.

So, in summary, who is Lora Brown?  She describes herself as passionate, fun, loyal, impulsive and honest.  She lives her life to the fullest and loves people. She loves to be outdoors and in the sun with family and friends.  She loves art, all types of music and the theater.  She has even been spotted riding her scooter around downtown St. Petersburg.  Her friends say she is a great friend,  but she is much more than all of her personal attributes. Her list of accomplishments stretches on forever.  I hope her dream of being a Professor at USF comes true someday, but I certainly hope that will be in the way-distant future.  She has much more to do, freeing people from a life of pain, saving lives and creating miracles every day, and I suspect she will be much older before she is spotted at USF on her scooter or bicycle.  Thanks for all you do, Lorrie!  You take Moxy to a whole new level! 

You can learn more about her practice on her website- Click Here




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