BWH and the Department of Neurosurgery mourn the loss of Robert F. Brach, PA-C, who passed away suddenly earlier this month. He was 59.
Mr. Brach, of Brighton, worked as a physician assistant (PA) at BWH for 16 years, most recently in inpatient Neurosurgery, which included the Neurointervention Service. Prior to that, Mr. Brach was a PA for Spinal Neurosurgery, caring for both inpatients and outpatients. His colleagues described him as gentle, kind-hearted and reliable.
“Bob’s patients loved him and felt very safe and cared for by him,” said Kai Frerichs, MD, director of Endovascular Neurosurgery/Interventional Neuroradiology. “He was very devoted, easy to work with and a gentle soul. This is a big loss for all of us. We were fortunate to have had somebody like him on our team for so long.”
Sarah Christie, PA-C, chief PA for Neurosurgery, worked with Mr. Brach for the past six months. “Bob was kind, warm and welcoming to me,” she said. “He was a great member of our team and really listened and responded to patients’ concerns.”
When Jessica Logsdon, MHA, PA-C, interim director for BWH PA Services, joined BWH Neurosurgery as a new graduate in 2005, Mr. Brach was one of the first people with whom she worked.
“Bob was thorough and detail-oriented, and he got along so well with everyone across all disciplines,” she said. “He was a staple on our service. He was a genuine person and a pleasure to work with. In a fast-paced, high-stress environment, he was always one to keep calm.”
Added Mary Pennington, RN, nursing director on Tower 10CD and 12B: “Our nurses and patient care assistants always felt very comfortable asking Bob for help. They were constantly checking in with him. He was an important part of our team and our family; his presence mattered. We feel his absence greatly.”
Meghan Prentiss, PA-C, worked with Mr. Brach for 11 years, most recently on the Neurosurgical floors. “He was such a fixture in our department, always pleasant, kind, patient and put the care of his patients before all else,” she said. “I will miss him and will remember him with his ubiquitous cup of coffee, quiet smile and gentle ways.”
In addition to BWH, Mr. Brach had also worked as a PA at New England Baptist Hospital, Carney Hospital and Quincy Medical Center. He started his career as a paramedic for an ambulance service company in Colorado and at Denver Health Medical Center. He was the first paramedic in the state of Colorado to be certified in pediatric advanced life support.
Mr. Brach graduated from Northeastern University’s Physician Assistant Program and received his bachelor’s degree in English from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
Mr. Brach enjoyed research and writing and had published several articles in PA journals. His writing interest was cerebrovascular disease. He also enjoyed travel, scuba diving and underwater photography.
He is survived by his sister, Christie Rewinkel, of Denver.