News Release

Drs. Samuel Brown and Dale Wilms honored
with 2013 Physician Legacy Award


CHICO, Calif., Dec. 23, 2013 – Each year Enloe Medical Center’s Physician Legacy Award recognizes a member of the Enloe medical staff for exceptional service, leadership and performance in medicine and the community. This year two honorees were named. Palliative medicine physician Dr. Samuel Brown and pulmonologist Dr. Dale Wilms were honored at a general medical staff physician meeting on Dec. 10.

The selection process for the award includes a review of nominations made by doctors on the medical staff, employees, volunteers and community members. The final decision is made by the medical executive committee, composed of physicians who have been elected by their peers to lead Enloe’s medical staff. This year that vote resulted in a tie and the committee decided to present two awards.

Criteria includes an Enloe physician whose leadership at the hospital and in the community both locally and at large has changed our world for the better, who has been a member of the medical staff for more than one year, and who has excellent clinical knowledge and skill.

Dr. Brown was recognized for providing exceptional care to patients and their families, as well as for his contributions to palliative care, his leadership in behavioral health and in the community he has served for decades. The 2012 Physician Legacy Award recipient, Dr. David Potter, presented the award. He described Dr. Brown as someone with “a remarkable degree of curiosity,” “continued enthusiasm for medicine,” and honored him for making “a huge difference” in the community by enhancing services.

Dr. Brown has been a member of Enloe’s medical staff since 1992. He is the medical director of Enloe’s Supportive & Palliative Care program, which provides specialized medical care, including relief from symptoms, pain and stress, for patients hospitalized with serious illnesses. Dr. Brown served as medical director of Enloe Behavioral Health, in 2011 and 2012, and he worked as medical director of hospice care for a local home health agency for 12 years. He was also the medical director of the behavioral health unit under its previous ownership. In addition to direct patient care, Dr. Brown has research experience at Napa State Hospital and had aprivate practice in Santa Rosa, Calif., for more than 10 years. In his personal life, Dr. Brown enjoys using the crafts of construction. For example, he took a sabbatical in the mid-1980s to rebuild a turn-of- the-century inn.

Dr. Brown is board certified in hospice, palliative medicine and psychiatry. He completed his residency at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco and earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Wilms was recognized as a knowledgeable physician who always does the right thing for his patients. He is known by hospital caregivers as a doctor who genuinely cares about patients and who teaches and explains information to staff. The 2010 Physician Legacy Award recipient, Dr. Eugene Cleek, who presented the award, described Dr. Wilms as “affable, available and able.” Dr. Cleek acknowledged Dr. Wilms’ responsiveness and commitment, saying that when he calls, Dr. Wilms “shows up on the spot. It is a pleasure to work with him. He never berates others or elevates himself. He’s one of the best.”

Dr. Wilms has been a member of Enloe’s medical staff since 1989, with a primary practice in pulmonary and critical care. He is board certified in internal medicine, critical care and pulmonary disease. He completed his residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center, his fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital and received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Dr. Wilms was in private practice at North State Pulmonary Critical Care Associates. Dr. Wilms is an avid hunter and sportsman.

Past recipients of the Physician Legacy Award are: David Potter, MD, (2012); John Howard, MD (2011); Eugene Cleek, MD (2010); Joseph Matthews, MD (2009); Terrance Fraters, MD (2008); Joseph Chiapella, MD (2007); Jimmy Roberts, MD and Walter Mazen, Sr., MD (2006); James Wood, MD (2005); and Donald Heithecker, MD (2004). More information can be found online at

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist, Enloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell


Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at   Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.

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