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In Memorium: John Brown, MD

Dr. John Brown, a founding father of Minnesota Oncology passed away on November 23, 2014.

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More than 4 decades ago the early seeds of what is known today as Minnesota Oncology, were planted on both sides of the Mississippi river.  Dr. John Brown entered practice on the west side in 1964 as the first formally trained oncologist in community practice in the state of Minnesota, and his colleague and future practice partner, Dr. Irving Lerner, was the first physician formally trained in medical oncology to enter private practice in Saint Paul in 1967.

The first independent private practice dedicated to the specialty of oncology on the Minneapolis side of the river was Oncologic Consultants, formed by Dr. John Brown, Dr. Ignatio Fortuny, and Dr. Burton Schwartz. The practice grew steadily over the next few years, adding an office in Edina.  Further growth and expansion of sites continued in the evolution of today’s Minnesota Oncology.

“Dr. Brown was an exceptional physician who lived by the Hippocratic Oath, often times sacrificing his own health for the sake of his patients,” said Minnesota Oncology Medical Director Dr. Mark Sborov. “He truly practiced the art of oncology when therapy options were limited. His patients adored him and his colleagues respected him. He was instrumental in developing the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and the patient centered practice philosophy to which we aspire.”

“John was a force in the community providing his leadership and strength in this early days,” Dr. Sborov added. “We are thankful for his leadership, and he will be missed.”