Dr. Brown is a medical researcher, ICU physician, and historian of religion and culture. His current project, Through the Valley of Shadows: Living Wills, Intensive Care, and Making Medicine Human (Oxford University Press, Spring 2016) outlines and advocates fundamental reforms in the way medical treatments are provided to create a truly patient and family centered intensive care unit.


New phenotypes of severe infection identified

In this work on a large group of patients with life-threatening infection, we used a neural network technique called “self-organizing maps” to identify four different sub-groups of patients with severe infection.

Essay on ICU visitation published in BMJ

In this essay published in BMJ, I argue strongly that it’s past time to transform visitation in ICUs to make them truly patient-centered rather than clinician-centered.

PPQ validation published

In this early work, we validated the Intermountain PPQ instrument, which helps us measure patient and family experience with an ICU admission.

Definition of Patient/Family Engagement

In this paper in AJRCCM, we proposed a definition of patient and family engagement (PFE) relevant to the intensive care unit. We feel strongly that such a definition is crucial to improving research and practice on PFE.

Identification of long-term outcomes after severe shock

In this pioneering study of patients who survived shock so severe that their treatment was once thought to be futile, our group demonstrated that their long-term outcomes were reasonable. While they had residual physical disability, their mental/emotional outcomes were similar to population norms.

Donation URLs for #EbolaSwearJar

These are three reputable, well-organized NGOs working on Ebola. I’ve had personal contact with the first two and online contact with the third.

Research to identify ARDS Outcome Phenotypes now funded

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has funded our work to employ big data statistical analysis techniques to identify and predict meaningful outcome phenotypes among survivors of the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This work is part of a collaboration with investigators at Johns Hopkins University and other sites.
This research should help us personalize treatments for people attempting to recover from a life-threatening illness.

Several academic reviews of In Heaven

Laurie Maffly-Kipp, in “Odysseus in the Underworld,” terms In Heaven “remarkably deft work of scholarship” that “offers a rich and compelling view of early Mormonism.”

Jan Shipps describes the “sustained and learned argument” in the book that “provides the best explanation of Mormon temple worship ever published” in her review in Journal of American History.

Susanna Morrill describes In Heaven as a “clearly written and brilliantly conceived work” in her review in Reviews in American History.

Church History Review of In Heaven

Dr. David Howlett calls In Heaven a “remarkable” book that “transforms how historians can understand…early Mormonism” in his review in Church History.

Through the Valley of Shadows now under contract

I’m pleased to report that my new trade book, Through the Valley of Shadows: Making Intensive Care Human is now under contract with Oxford University Press. The book is due to enter production in early 2015, with a likely release in 2016. This book project explores the problems with critical care and the failings of living wills to address the real risks of contemporary ICUs. In the process, I show several ways to improve the current practice of intensive care in the USA

Banner image is of Mount Mkinwartsveri (Kazbek), with the Church of St. Mary foreground left, image © Samuel Brown 2000