Physician's 40-year journey of service

Charlestown resident dedicated to helping Native Americans

Created date

October 26th, 2009

It s been called the best-kept secret in health care. For over 200 years, the U.S. government has successfully provided free health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) first, as part of the War Department and later as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Since the 1950s, the U.S. Public Health Service has overseen the Indian Health Service (IHS). [caption id="attachment_6412" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Dr. George Brenneman visits with one of his young patients. (Photo courtesy of Dr. George Brenneman)"]Charlestown, an Erickson-developed community in Catonsville, Md., where he s lived with his wife, Jewell, an artist, since 2008. The couple explored at least five other communities before choosing the large-scale retirement community outside of Baltimore. It s good to be at Charlestown, he says. Though hardly the most glamorous or lucrative posts in medicine, Brenneman says the personal reward of working in the clinic with people and families makes his life s work satisfying. I take a philosophy of downward mobility, he says. I think that people who have been around for a while could make a bigger difference by going back to where they came from. So for myself as a pediatrician, I m working in the clinic with patients and their families. For more information about Dr. George Brenneman, visit