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Rehab Insights is a weekly blog written by Burke Rehabilitation professionals to offer practical information for patients, families and the community. Its goal is to educate the reader on relevant topics in rehabilitation, general health and wellness.

Thousands Raised At Annual Heels & Wheels Event

May 8, 2018

Rain threatened for most of the morning on Sunday, May 6th, but more than 100 runners, walkers and hand cyclists still turned out for Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s Heels & Wheels 5K Race, Walk and Fun Run. The event proved to be a great success, raising over $8,000.

Burke’s own Brainiacs team was the top fundraising team, collecting over $7,500. The Brainiacs is a group of people from Burke’s neuropsychology outpatient department. They are all survivors of a traumatic brain injury.

“This year was particularly meaningful for the Brainiacs as we honored their wonderful friend and brother Alan P. Spar and the positive lessons he taught them,” Heidi Spits, Psy.D., director of Burke’s outpatient neuropsychology department said. “What a huge turnout. Thank you to Burke and to all of the Brainiac supporters. We couldn’t have been the top fundraisers without you!”

Timothy Doherty was the top male finisher with a time of 18:37. Judy Rubin was the first place female runner with a time of 24:17.

Following the race, Tom Mitchell, assistant director of groundskeeping, was honored with the third annual Jenny Lewis Memorial Award. The award is given in honor of Burke’s former chief development officer who passed away in 2015.

“Tom was chosen for the Jenny Lewis Memorial Award because he exemplifies Jenny’s spirit of collaboration and giving,” Richard Sgaglio, Burke vice president of marketing, communications and development said. “Tom is a behind the scenes guy here at Burke and I wanted to make sure he was recognized for all of his hard work. None of this would be possible without him.”

Burke would like to take a moment to thank all of the participants, volunteers and sponsors who supported the event. For more information on the Heels & Wheels 5k, go to

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Burke's Rehab Insights blog is intended to provide general information about rehabilitation and other health care topics. It should not take the place of medical care. Burke staff cannot comment on individual medical cases or give medical advice.

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