A Tribute to Dr. Beatrice (Bea) Braun
1921 – 2013
The exceptional footprints of the late Dr. Braun are truly a shining example of the joy of giving back! Two days a week, she could be seen at the Crescent Community Clinic volunteering her time as a psychiatrist and counselor serving those clients less fortunate than her in the community. Her compassion for those unable to afford psychiatric care also prompted her to offer free counseling to the county’s mental health clients at Hernando’s Health Department too.
“If there was any one person who deserved the undying gratitude of the citizens of Hernando County, it was Bea Braun,” said longtime friend Nick Morana.
It’s clear that Dr. Braun’s compassion and service was exemplary as a steward of generosity-kindled with her warm gracious signature demeanor which founded the hearts of many.
“To me, she provided a beautiful example for everyone to follow,” said Barbara Sweinberg, Administrator at Crescent Community Clinic.
As a shining example of the joy of giving back, she’s often remembered for helping the Nature Coast Community Health Center in Hernando County too. In fact, for more than two decades, she had tirelessly given her time to senior citizens and those needing a helping hand in the Gulf Region.
Dr. Braun’s legacy includes Shine, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, a program she helped create as a volunteer with her late husband Dr. Richard Braun. Together, they had operated a family psychiatrist practice in New York for 30 years upon retiring to Florida where they continued to work in tandem as volunteers helping various organizations.
Without any doubt, Dr. Braun’s accolades shined during her vibrant career – she had been tapped to become the first Director of the States Department of Elder Affairs. On a national level, she served 8 years working as a Board Member of AARP. As an AARP advocate, she travelled to Washington DC. lobbying for the creation of volunteer Medicare/Medicaid assistance programs to help Seniors navigate the system’s regulatory maze. Notably, in 2009, she was the recipient of the organizations prestigious Ethel Percy Andrus Award for Community Service.
Often, Dr. Braun worked tirelessly for others and her exceptional years of service will be remembered. Upon discovering her calling at Manhattanville College in New York as a Maryknoll Sister (a congregation of women dedicated to foreign mission outreach through the Roman Catholic Church) she later earned her doctorate in psychiatry from Marquette University in Milwaukee. During the Korean War, she and 5 other Maryknoll women were assigned at the request of General Douglas McArthur to conduct humanitarian services to refugees in Pusan, Korea. She spent 17 years in Korea and returned to America to begin a rotating internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Thereafter, she worked in her psychiatry practice with her beloved husband Richard.
To shine was her calling! Dr. Braun’s gift of giving back and generosity was outstanding. It’s an honor to pay tribute to such a glorious charitable individual whose accomplishments and philanthropy inspires to the moon and back! Tethered with her lifetime journeys are truly heartfelt wonderful stories too- she touched the lives of so many! Dr. Braun’s advocacy, generosity, compassion and warm friendly smile will truly be long remembered -her footprints carve a successful and rewarding path to follow!