Dr. Burke will be greatly missed and remembered for so many great qualities. He was truly inspirational and enthused the spirit of those who were blessed to know him. I had the pleasure of working with him for almost 4 years when I served as the director of the St. Agnes Pediatric Emergency Medicine department. Dr. Burke was the best boss/ department head with whom I’ve worked.
Dr. Burke was and remains a true hero to the innumerable people he touched during his life—as well as a leader and friend who provided guidance and help whenever needed. His brilliant, genuinely kind, humble, and unwavering nature seemed surreal at times, particularly during critical events, both work-related and otherwise. In my experience, Dr. Burke never shied away from discussing and helping with difficult and/or chaotic issues, while holding the best intentions in his advice and service for others.
Personally, Dr. Burke taught me the concept of aequanimitas, as the ability to stay calm in the midst of uncertainty in major change. I am forever grateful for this lesson and I've carried this with me into my new career and into my daily life in general. More importantly, his active generosity of spirit and his willingness to help those who came into his life served as a philosophy, as a way of life, for those who encountered him.
Michael, may you continue to be an angel in the guidance of all of us in this journey as you were in life. I continue to pray for Dr. Burke’s family, friends, and the St. Agnes pediatric community, staff, and patients during this loss of such a wonderful, wonderful light on earth.
Lesley S. Hanes, MD, MSC
Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products (DGIEP)
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
US Food and Drug Administration