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Tue, 09.28.1954

Ophelia Garmon-Brown, Physician, and Community Activist born

Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown

*Ophelia Garmon-Brown was born on this date in 1954. She was a doctor (family medicine specialist), minister, author, and community activist.

Ophelia Garmon was a Detroit native moving to eastern North Carolina with her family. Her interest in medicine began when her father died from encephalitis. She earned a degree in biology from North Carolina Central University. She graduated from the University Of North Carolina School of Medicine medical school in 1980. She earned a master’s from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian Christian Education. Garmon-Brown was the first Black woman alumnus of the Carolinas Medical Center residency program, where she concentrated on family medicine.

Dr. Garmon-Brown co-founded the Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Mecklenburg County’s first free clinic to earn approval as a federally qualified facility. She was the first Black person elected the Mecklenburg County Medical Society president. She was the medical director for the Salvation Army’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter’s health clinic and a volunteer at the Charlotte Pregnancy Care Center.

Away from medicine, Dr. Garmon-Brown co-chaired the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, established to address disparities regarding upward economic mobility. In Charlotte, NC, her work spanned over 42 years of experience in the medical field. Her last two decades as a medical professional were at Novant Health while also serving as a medical missionary in the diaspora countries of UgandaSouth AfricaJamaicaKenya, and Guyana.

Garmon-Brown co-authored the 2020 book “The Unexpected Gift: Profiles in Courage from Cancer Survivorship,” hoping her story and the story of others could help other people. Dr. Ophelia Eugenia Garmon-Brown died of cancer on November 17, 2021.

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