During the last 2 weeks, many of us are still struggling with the shocking news of Dr. Burke’s sudden death but remembering him as a gentle, soft-spoken leader who was a kind-hearted pediatrician, caring and supportive to the Pediatric staff. I’m sure it has been hard at St Agnes and for some even painful, such as his secretaries not seeing his beaming smile and hearing that friendly “Hello!”
In honor for his work and implementation of the Reach Out And Read (ROAR) program at the hospital, which won the Mayoral and Gubernatorial awards and that distributed nearly 30,000 books to the children in the Peds clinic, a book has been selected to be dedicated in his memory and will be given to his family. The ROAR team has chosen The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. Dr. Burke’s family will enjoy this story of unselfish love and see him as a perfect example, as well as read the many thoughts written in a few pages from the Pediatric office and medical staff, colleagues, and retired personnel who respected and loved him.
We will certainly miss him deeply and be reminded of him through the things he loved dearly: We’ll see him looking up through the eyes of children. From the pages of his favorite children’s books. In smiles from those we gave our smiles to as gifts, as we’ve learned from him.
Thank you, Michael, for the many blessings you shared!
Former Child Life Specialist and friend
St. Agnes Hospital