Dear Community Member:
January is a popular time to look back on what we accomplished over the last 12 months while also looking forward and making resolutions for the year to come. 2018 was a landmark year for Burke, and the plans we have in place have positioned the hospital for an even better 2019.
Burke welcomed several new members to its leadership team in 2018. In May, White Plains native John R. McCarthy was named Chairman of Burke’s Board of Trustees. John has served as a trustee since 2008 and will be a great successor to retired Chairman Donald E. Foley. In April, our national search for a Chief Medical Officer came to an end when we welcomed internationally-recognized physician and researcher Dr. Mooyeon Oh-Park. We also promoted one of our own, Dr. Carolin Dohle, to Assistant Chief Medical Officer.
Already in 2019, we have hired a new Chief Nursing Officer, Valerie Vermiglio-Kohn, who comes to us from the Kessler Institute where she served in the same capacity. She will spend the next three months working alongside our outgoing Chief Nursing Officer, Marie Spencer, who is retiring in April.
We cannot look back on 2018 without mentioning the opening of the Marsal Caregiver Center in May. The Center was made possible by a generous donation from Bryan and Kathleen Marsal and the feedback we’ve received so far has been tremendous. It proves to us that a proper care plan extends beyond the patient; that we must also care for a patient’s family, caregiver and loved ones. With ongoing support from donors, we are working to expand the hours of operation to seven days a week so we can provide respite to the loved ones of those who come to Burke every day.
Even with all of these changes, we held on to many of the traditions that make Burke a cornerstone of the community. The Burke Award Dinner in June once again recognized those who continue to support our mission of improving rehabilitative medicine and proved to be our most successful yet. Our adaptive sporting events—the Heels & Wheels 5k race in May and the Wheelchair Games in September—once again provided athletes of all ability levels the chance to compete in a supportive and inclusive environment. I look forward to attending these events and seeing many familiar faces when we host them again this year.
Improving the inpatient experience will continue to be a top priority for all of us at Burke this year. We will begin construction on a new mixed neurology rehabilitation gym, a larger, state-of-the-art space that will support spinal cord injury patients, as well as those with other neurological diagnoses.
Burke is also working with Gordon Tomaselli, MD, FAHA, FACC, FHRS, the Dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to create the Burke Innovation Center on our White Plains campus. This Center will provide eligible patients recovering from neurological conditions, such as a stroke, with innovative, neuroscience-based treatment and opportunities to participate in rehabilitation research utilizing the latest technologies. This Center will further cement Burke’s reputation as a premier provider of comprehensive and ground-breaking neurological care.
Other major projects that will begin this year include work on a new ambulance bay on the main hospital building to allow for greater privacy as well as bedside admissions. We will also completely update and renovate our patient dining room, unveil our professionally designed, single-occupancy high-amenity patient rooms and improve parking in our employee lot as well as in front of our iconic Billings Building.
Improvement projects are not limited to our inpatient division. Demand for high quality outpatient therapy close to home continues to increase, and we are making every effort to meet that need. We will open two new clinics in Yonkers and the Bronx in the coming weeks. We are also in the early planning stages for an additional therapy clinic in White Plains on Mamaroneck Ave.
We will address the growing demand for outpatient medical services by teaming up with Montefiore and opening up new physician practice space in the Billings Building. Construction on the new space is expected to begin in February and last about six months. Once work is complete, even more patients will be able to receive top-notch care from board certified Burke/Montefiore doctors for a variety of medical rehabilitation and related conditions.
Lastly, we are in the final stages of renovating the Adult Fitness Center. Once work is complete the Center will feature new equipment with the latest software to help our members remain fit and healthy in 2019 and beyond.
Thank you all for your support over the years, which allows us to continue to expand our programs and services, and Happy New Year.
President and CEO, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital