Dr. Mary Beth Walsh will step down on April 1 as CEO and executive medical director of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, the hospital’s board of trustees in White Plains announced today. A rheumatologist by training, she led Burke in the dual executive posts for 22 years of her 37-year tenure there.
Jeffrey Menkes, Montefiore Health System senior vice president for network development, will succeed Walsh, serving as president and CEO of the adult rehabilitative care center. Burke officials said Menkes, a former president and CEO of New York Downtown Hospital in lower Manhattan, has worked closely with Walsh since Burke joined the Bronx-based Montefiore Health System 13 months ago.
Trustees in Monday’s announcement said Walsh “put Burke on the map as one of the premiere rehabilitation hospitals in the region and set the pace for all others in the field with her visionary planning and advances in clinical care.…Her dedication to patient-centered, integrated care has been the bedrock of the hospital’s stellar reputation and is her lasting legacy.”
Officials said Walsh was the driving force behind the 102-year-old Westchester hospital’s partnership with Montefiore and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, which allowed Burke to create a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program. She was also instrumental in creating a neurorehabilitation fellowship to educate the next generation of rehab physicians.
A member of the American Hospital Association board of trustees and of its post-acute care steering committee, Walsh also serves as a director of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association. She has advocated in Washington, D.C. for improved health care regulations and quality in post-acute care.
Her work has brought her honors that include the Women’s Healthcare Network Founder’s Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
“The board of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital would like to express its deep gratitude to Dr. Walsh for her tremendous contributions in setting the highest standards of care for the full spectrum of patients requiring intensive physical rehabilitation,” today’s announcement of her retirement read. “Her accomplishments will continue through the patient-focused best practices she helped create.”
Regarding Walsh’s future plans, “The incoming CEO and board would like her to stay on in some capacity but she hasn’t confirmed that she will,” said Burke spokesman Richard Sgaglio. “Perhaps after a long overdue vacation.”