Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

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Burke Rehabilitation Center
Burke Logo72 fullcolor.jpg
Location White Plains, New York, USA
Coordinates 41°00′56″N 73°45′08″W / 41.015543°N 73.752251°W / 41.015543; -73.752251Coordinates: 41°00′56″N 73°45′08″W / 41.015543°N 73.752251°W / 41.015543; -73.752251
Care system Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Hospital type Nonprofit organization
Beds 150[1]
Founded 1915
Website www.burke.org
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a 150-bed rehabilitation hospital located in Westchester County, NY

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a non-profit, 150-bed acute rehabilitation hospital located in White Plains, New York. It is the only hospital in Westchester County entirely dedicated to rehabilitation medicine. Opened in 1915, Burke has been a leader in medical rehabilitation for over one hundred years. As of January 2016, Burke is a member of the Montefiore Health System, Inc.

Burke provides inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation to patients with a broad range of neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiac and pulmonary disabilities caused by disease or injury. Burke treats patients who have suffered a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputations, complicated fractures, cardiac disease, arthritis and pulmonary disease as well as neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis.[2]

After intensive inpatient therapy, many patients move on to Burke's tailored outpatient programs for a continuum of care. Outpatient services include physical and occupational therapy, speech, language and swallowing therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, an arthritis center, an osteoporosis screening service and varying levels of exercise programs through the Burke Fitness Center. Burke also provides support groups and educational programs.

Burke conducts extensive clinical research in areas including stroke, Alzheimer's disease/dementia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and more. Burke's renowned clinicians are at the forefront of rehabilitation research.

Patients are generally from the eastern United States, but Burke also sees patients from other parts of the U.S. and, through its International Patient Program, from abroad. It has approximately 600 employees and 17 full-time physicians.[3]

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. These two accrediting organizations are the gold standard in acute care rehabilitation hospitals in the United States today.


Burke Rehabilitation Hospital was established by John Masterson Burke through his Winifred Masterson Burke Relief Foundation, named in honor of his mother. The hospital opened its doors on April 7, 1915 and initially treated patients for pneumonia, ulcers, fatigue, cardiac and thyroid disease.

Illustrated 1940s-era postcard showing the full grounds and central courtyard

Along with medical supervision and treatments, the hospital’s early programs also called for rigorous exercise and daily chores. It was one of the first institutions to encourage moderate exercise for cardiac patients and eventually helped found the American Heart Association in 1924.

During World War I, Burke was used as a naval hospital and served 2,000 sailors who became known as “Burke’s Navy.” The hospital’s services were needed again after World War II when the number and nature of injuries suffered by veterans led to a renewed emphasis on physical and occupational therapies, improvements to prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, and the development of community services.

In 1951, the same year the hospital became formally known as The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, its focus became multi-disciplinary medical rehabilitation. Today, the hospital specializes in recovery from physical disabilities due to stroke, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders, cardiac disease, chronic pulmonary disease, arthritis, orthopedics and amputation.[4]


The hospital provides the following services:[5]

  • Fitness programs
  • Geriatric services
  • Health fairs and health screenings
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Pain management and end-of-life services
  • Pastoral care
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Psychiatric services
  • Sports medicine
  • Social Work/case management and assistance with government services
  • Support groups
  • Wound management services
  • Others

Notable staff[edit]

There are several Burke doctors who are in U.S. News & World Report's Top Doctors list. These doctors cover seven specialty areas and were selected based on a peer nomination process. The doctors are:[6]

  • Mary Beth Walsh, M.D., Executive Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer, a position she has held since 1995, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology.
  • Barry Jordan, M.D., MPH, Assistant Medical Director, is a neurologist specializing in brain injury, sports neurology, concussion and memory disorder. He is one of the leading experts in the world on sports concussions and has been featured in numerous publications, including on CNN and in The Journal News. He was also selected as one of Westchester Magazine’s top doctors in Westchester County.
  • Richard Novitch, M.D., pulmonologist, specializing in pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Karen Pechman, M.D., physiatrist, specializing in electrodiagnosis, musculoskeletal disorders, amputee rehabilitation, pain management and sports injuries. She was also selected as one of Westchester Magazine’s top doctors in Westchester County
  • Sudhir Vaidya, M.D., family medicine, with special expertise in geriatric rehabilitation, pain management and sports medicine.
  • Pasquale Fonzetti, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Institutional Review Board and associate director of the Memory Evaluation and Treatment Service (METS)
  • Justin Hill, M.D., Director, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
  • Carolin Dohle, M.D., Associate Director, Stroke Rehabilitation Program
  • Vincent Huang, M.D., Director, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program
  • Ellen Gitler, M.D., endocrinologist, with special expertise in cardiac rehabilitation
  • Bento Mascarenhas, M.D., rheumatologist, with special expertise in arthritis, lupus/SLE and osteoporosis


External links[edit]