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Robert Wood Johnson
1 9 7 4
Stephen Rabin
writes: "First grand-
child born on March 19, 2014."
1 9 7 8
Alan Schwartzstein
, a family physi-
cian at Dean Clinic in Oregon, Wisconsin,
is vice speaker of the American Academy
of Family Physicians Congress of
1 9 8 3
Robert Masci
is the man-
aging partner of Cardiology Associates of
Sussex County in Newton, Vernon, and
Milford, Pennsylvania.
1 9 8 4
Orthopedic surgeon
Peter Wernicki
practices in Vero Beach, Florida. He
received the 2015 Paragon Award for
Water Safety from the International
Swimming Hall of Fame. The award is
given annually to the one individual
worldwide who has contributed the most
to advance aquatics and water safety.
1 9 8 6
Peter Chirico
writes: "After finishing
residency and fellowship in diagnostic
radiology and CT/US/MRI at the
--Continued on page 62
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Class Notes
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Coordinator, Alumni Affairs,
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Alumni Association
335 George Street
Suite 2300
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903
Phone: 732-235-6310
Fax: 732-235-9570
cine, Warren Alpert Medical School at
Brown University. Describing the home
care program, Dr. Anderson says,
"Advancements in medical technology
have made it possible for more families
of children with disabilities to provide
care at home." Home care has many
benefits, but challenges as well. "Kids
are resilient, but Bob realizes that, for
the parents, the weight of home care is
tremendous--both medically and emo-
tionally--and he tries to make a diffi-
cult job easier for them," she says. "So
Bob's an old-time guy: he gives the par-
ents his phone number and makes lots
of house calls."
"I'm a huge Bob Burke fan," says
Randal Rockney, MD, professor of pedi-
atrics, family medicine, and medical edu-
cation, Warren Alpert Medical School of
Brown University. "The work he does is
very demanding and challenging. Not
too many people choose to do it, but he
does it happily and is extra-committed
to his patients." Dr. Burke works in the
ambulatory division and could turn his
hospitalized patients over to hospitalists,
adds Dr. Rockney, "but he knows his
patients best and the families know him
best, and they trust him. When their
children are hospitalized, they ask for
him. They're confident in him, so he
sees them there."
Dr. Burke's approach to teaching re-
flects his commitment to his patients.
"Bob knows his patients and teaches
by example," says Dr. Rockney.
"Some young learners are intimidated
by caring for special-needs patients,"
he adds. "And they're right: it's a lot
easier to examine a 4-month-old baby
than a 16-year-old in a wheelchair."
Families have also voiced their grat-
itude for the care and support Dr.
Burke has provided to them and his
dedication to the care of their children
with special needs.
Kenia Perez was referred to Dr. Burke
and other specialists for counseling in
the fifth month of her pregnancy, when
prenatal testing revealed that her baby
had spina bifida. "Dr. Burke made my
life easy," says Mrs. Perez. "He said,
`You are not alone. We are here to help
you.'" He explained the condition and
introduced her to other mothers at the
Spina Bifida Clinic, where her son,
Kenny, will be a patient until young
adulthood. "It helps so much when you
see that your child isn't the only one."
Now, 5-year-old Kenny's face lights
up when he sees his favorite doctor,
Dr. Burke, at the Spina Bifida Clinic or
in routine and special-needs visits. Dr.
Burke returns Kenny's bright smile. "I
love Dr. Burke," says Kenny. "He gave
me a big tricycle. It's going to make me
stronger." Adaptive hand tricycles like
Kenny's are designed to build strength
and coordination, while providing
mobility and recreation for children
with limited lower-body strength.
Most of all, it improves his abilities
and lets him do something that other
kids do, even if in a different way.
Dr. Burke regarded his medical
school acceptance as a miracle. If so,
then there are many who feel he has
paid back for that miracle. Dr. Burke
points out that he made a promise on
the day he was accepted to Rutgers
Medical School; he has been able to
keep that promise over his 35-year
pediatric career, and he looks forward
to continuing to keep it for the fore-
seeable future.