Mooyeon Oh-Park, MD, was named Burke’s new senior vice president and chief medical officer on March 19. We sat down with Dr. Oh-Park to discuss why she came to Burke and what she hopes to accomplish while she’s here.
What interested you most about taking this position at Burke?
In Burke, I found a perfect alignment with my personal mission. I wanted to be a part of accomplishing the hospital’s mission and realizing its vision.
What are some of your first impressions of Burke?
My first impression of Burke occurred 21 years ago when I was working at Montefiore/Einstein as a physiatric consultant. Many patients with stroke or fractures told me that they wanted to go to Burke for their rehabilitation. I never visited Burke until 2012, but I always remembered Burke as the place where patients wanted to go to recover and get back to their lives.
Any pleasant surprises?
The people. Actually, this is not a surprise; I expected it based on Burke's reputation. Every time I was at Burke, I found people who shared the same values as me and worked toward our mission. Meeting new and invested people is something that wakes me up in the morning and makes me look forward to a new day.
What are some of your short-term and long-term goals once you’re settled in?
My short-terms goals are focused on safety and the quality of care we provide. I want to help make Burke the safest rehabilitation hospital for our patients and for us as employees.
My long-term goal is to provide the highest quality medical and rehabilitative care for each patient. I want to help Burke continue its mission of patient and family centered care, education, and research. I envision Burke continuing to serve as a leader in the field of rehabilitation both nationally and internationally. I want to contribute to Burke being a place all patients want to be for their rehabilitation and all employees in the field want to work.
Where do you see the future of rehabilitative medicine going in the future? How does Burke fit into that picture?
The role of rehabilitation medicine in healthcare has been increasing, and is expected to be more important in the future due to an increasing aging population and people with chronic diseases (arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc). The vast majority of patients, if not all, require some form of rehabilitation during acute hospitalization, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient, or in the community.
This paradigm shift of our understanding of rehabilitative medicine is needed to meet the complex needs of our patients in every care setting. Rehabilitation does not end when a patient leaves the rehab unit. As a matter of fact, the patient just started a new journey to be integrated back into their community. A smooth transition from acute care to inpatient rehabilitation to outpatient and ultimately to the community is needed. Burke will be with our patients at every step of their recovery. I have no doubt that we will be a leader in the seamless transition of rehabilitation care across the healthcare landscape.
What made you want to get into medicine?
I always loved to fix things. I chose medicine because I thought that I would be able to apply my knowledge and help people no matter where I lived.
I chose rehabilitation medicine from my early exposure to the needs of people with disabilities. My mother was a volunteer at an organization for people with disabilities. My best friend has Polio. She is the most elegant and smart person I have ever known. When I am with her, I see her as a capable and fun person to be around who just happens to use a brace and scooter. My primary focus is on what a person can and will do rather than on their weakness or disability.
What do you like to do when you’re away from work?
I play tennis, do some pilates, and enjoy watching Oscar-nominated movies.
My favorite band is Styx, but I use audiobooks during my commute. The most recent ones were “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, “No Apparent Distress” by Rachel Pearson, and “Art of War” by Sun Tzu.
I also love to make educational slides for fun (anatomy and biomechanics). The wonders of our bodies always make me feel humble.
Click here to read Burke's news release on Dr. Oh-Park.