Dr. Doug Brooks happy to be back home

Sees many positives in Wood County

Dr. Doug Brooks enjoys living and working in his hometown of Parkersburg. (Photo by Paul LaPann)

PARKERSBURG — “Why did you move back from Tampa and Charlotte to this place?”

This was the question Dr. Doug Brooks was often asked when he first returned to his hometown of Parkersburg in June 2017 to practice family medicine with WVU Medicine-Camden Clark Medical Center.

Brooks said he isn’t asked that question anymore.

At first, Brooks said, he did not have a good answer other than “I wanted to return to my roots” or “I wanted to give back to my hometown.”

Since then, Brooks has been paying close attention to what is on the horizon for the “revitalization” of Parkersburg and Vienna, he said.

He now has a list of reasons why “I am so proud to be a member of this community. I am super excited to see it forge ahead to become a truly remarkable town and a multi-cultural small city.”

In March, Brooks listed on his Facebook page some of the reasons why he was so optimistic about the area’s resurgence. He invited people to add their own reasons under the Facebook comments section.

Brooks’ list mentioned the following positives about living here:

* Downtown Parkersburg has received national Main Street certification.

* Dils Center and the federal building downtown are looking to become offices, retail spaces, loft and luxury apartments, and special event locales such as for music venues.

* Emerson Commons is adding retail businesses, restaurants and hotels.

* Taste of Parkersburg, Point Park Marketplace and Concert Series, and Parkersburg Homecoming are major attractions.

* Starbucks and H&M clothing store will be future additions at Grand Central Mall.

* The arts are alive and well, including the West Virginia Symphony-Parkersburg, the Actors Guild, the Parkersburg Art Center and the Smoot Theatre.

* Culturally diverse food such as Chams Lebanese Cuisine, Mango Latin Bistro and Philippines Best Food have joined restaurants such as Spats, Lui Lui and others. Also “hip new spots” include The Coffee Bar and Parkersburg Brewing Company.

* The Parkersburg Ohio River Trail will connect Point Park to Grand Central Mall. Vienna Bike Trail will have two routes, one connecting all five town parks and the other running from the mall to 60th Street.

* Continued rise in excellence and expansion of institutions such as WVU Medicine-Camden Clark Medical Center, West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Ohio Valley University.

* Continued renovations and modernizations of “old standbys” Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Fort Boreman Historical Park, Julia-Ann Square Historic District, Parkersburg Country Club, Mountwood Park and McDonough Wildlife Refuge.

After attending the “Taste of Parkersburg” in June, Brooks offered the following observation.

“Parkersburg is the only city in which I have ever lived that you can pull in five minutes before an event starts and find a parking place one block away,” he said.

Brooks, a 1989 graduate of Parkersburg High School, worked as a physician in Tampa from 2000-2006 and in Charlotte from 2007-2017. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1993 from West Virginia University and a medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1997.

“Big cities are very spread out. Parkersburg has everything in one place,” Brooks said.

“People in big cities are transplanted a lot of the time so they have no real pride or commitment to the city as their home. Parkersburg is the exact opposite,” Brooks said.

Brooks, 47, said patients are more respectful and appreciative of his medical care here.

And the pay in his medical field is better in Parkersburg than in larger cities, he said.

Brooks said he likes working for WVU Medicine-Camden Clark Physicians Corp. because it provides more autonomy and less micromanaging than he has experienced with large organizations. His office is at 2012 Garfield Ave., Suite 1 in the Garfield Medical Complex in Parkersburg.

Brooks is an adjunct faculty member at WVU School of Medicine, teaching students and residents, and a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohio University, teaching in the physician’s assistant program.

Brooks helps the Humane Society of Parkersburg and other nonprofit organizations in the community. He hopes to become the PHS wrestling team doctor.

Brooks’ future interests include working on opioid abuse prevention and suicide prevention, both of which he said are “epidemics.”

The only drawback for Brooks of living here is his allergies to the local tree pollen, something that did not affect him in the Florida and North Carolina cities, he said.

“I can always fly to the beach or the city for a vacation and have extra money to spend with the lower cost of living here,” Brooks said of another advantage of living in Wood County.