Story by Carol Humphreys
Photos by Mark Boehler
After graduating from Alcorn Central High School in 2002, Scherun “Michelle” Brooks decided she wanted to work in the medical field.
“I am a ‘people’ person. I have always enjoyed communicating with and helping other people,” said the Alcorn County native.
After looking at different avenues, Brooks decided on going into nursing and received an associate degree from Northeast Mississippi Community College in 2007. She went to work as a Registered Nurse at Magnolia Regional Health Center for the next five years while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Alabama and her Master’s degree at Union University in Jackson.
In 2011, the hard working young mother and nurse earned both her Master of Science in Nursing and certification as a family nurse practitioner. She advanced her nursing skills as a FNP while working at Physicians Urgent Care in Corinth for the next seven years.
In November 2018, Brooks decided to take a big step utilizing both her nursing experience and resourcefulness by opening her own medical practice.
With the help of her family she built a clinic from the ground up. Her husband, Chris Brooks, and her father, Chris Albright, oversaw and helped with the construction.
Her new clinic, Brooks Medical Clinic, is located at 2113 South Tate St. in southwest Corinth on a stretch of Hwy. 145 (South Tate Street) where it exits and enters Hwy. 45.
The recently developed location offers a lot of advantages as both her father’s business, Albright’s Supply and brother-in-law’s business, Bickert’s Orthotics and Prosthetics are nearby.
The staff she selected to work with her at her new clinic made the transition into owning her own business easier.
“I had previously worked with my office manager, Monica McNair Walden, at another clinic and my medical assistant, Jessica ‘Jess’ Jackson, was introduced to me by a former co-worker. It was just the three of us when I started my business,” said Brooks. “My practice grew so much by the first of February 2019, I needed more staff. I hired another former co-worker, Ashley Clark, a licensed practical nurse. I have now worked eight years with both Monica and Ashley and one year with Jess.”
“I’m very thankful for these women,” she added. “I feel my practice wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for them. They represent the compassion and care I want to give to my patients, and are a direct reflection of me.”
Burgundy upholstered chairs and soft gray walls provide a soothing atmosphere in the clinic’s waiting room. As she sits looking over paperwork near the patient registration window, Walden returns the appreciation Brooks has for her.
“This has been a great place to work,” said the office manager. “The women I work with are like family to me. Michelle is a great employer. She is family-oriented and cares about her patients and staff.”
The nurse practitioner and her three full-time employees have been busy as cold season illnesses have started to peak. Strep, RSV and flu cases have been prevalent. The highly skilled medical professionals work well together, almost finishing each other’s sentences.
The clinic treats primary and urgent care patients from six months old and up. Treatments include suturing and splinting. X-rays and some lab work are done on site. As a family nurse practitioner, Brooks is trained to assess patient needs, interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, provide treatment plans and continued care. Her collaborating physician is Dr. George Cain.
The FNP said patient interaction is what drives her passion to heal.
“I want to get to the source of what is making somebody ill and help improve his or her quality of life, whether it’s treating acute illnesses or getting blood pressure under control,” she said.
Life doesn’t slow down for the nurse practitioner when she’s away from her practice.
She and her husband, Chris, are the parents of Hayden, 10 and Taylor, six. Both boys attend Kossuth Elementary School and are active in sports. An active volunteer, she stays involved in a variety of community events and is a member of the Junior Auxiliary which provides for the kids of Alcorn County. She also works closely with the children’s ministry at her church, Glendale Baptist Church.
“I must love a chaotic life,” said Brooks as she smiled and laughed. “It’s go, go, go all the time. Never a dull moment.”
“When I decided on a career in nursing, I never really planned on owning my own clinic. However, an opportunity came along and I realized I was ready for a change,” she continued. “It was a ‘God-led’ thing and I’ve been blessed with a thriving business already in the first year. In addition, there is a need for expanding my business so I’m adding more exam rooms.
“I just feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” she added with a smile.
(A resident of Corinth, Carol Humphreys is a freelance writer and contributor to the Daily Corinthian, Crossroads Magazine and Pickwick Profiles.)