Dr. Michael Suk

On Tuesday, October 16, at 2 p.m. at Snow King Resort, Michael Suk, MD JD MPH FACS, will open The 2018 SHIFT Festival with a keynote that presents the evidence behind the health benefits of time outside to help contextualize the proceedings that follow and catalyze a call to action to advance nature as a social determinant of health.

One of the country’s earliest and leading proponents of the health benefits of nature, Dr. Suk is currently System Wide Chairman of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute for the Geisinger Health System based in Danville, PA.

Chosen in 2003 as a White House Fellow with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Suk, as Special Advisor to Gale Norton, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, co-wrote a law review piece with Secretary Norton that investigated the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and participating in outdoor activities such as bicycling, hiking, and camping. In 2011, Dr. Suk’s activism in this matter contributed to the National Park Service’s adoption of a number of key values in its Centennial “Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement.”

Selected to lead the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2012, Dr. Suk became one of the youngest persons to head an academic orthopaedic department in the United States. Beginning with 2 main hospital centers and 13 orthopaedic surgeons, within 4 years Dr. Suk has overseen the tremendous programmatic growth at 12 diverse hospital platforms including 1 Level I and 3 level II trauma centers representing over 100 employed and non-employed surgeons. As the clinical driving force behind the Geisinger ProvenCare® Acute Orthopaedic Programs in Total Hip, Total Knee, Hip Fracture and Lumbar Spine – Dr. Suk is widely sought after for his expertise in new models for healthcare payment and delivery, physician engagement and leadership. Dr. Suk also serves as a member of Board of Directors for the Keystone Accountable Care Organization serving Central Pennsylvania. Dr. Suk helped lead the effort to transform Geisinger’s care delivery approach away from compartmentalized “service lines” and toward an “Institute” model centered around patient convenience and meeting the highest expectations. In 2015, Dr. Suk was named Chief Physician Officer of Geisinger System Services – to provide clinical leadership over the shared services including facilities management and care support services including the system’s $1 BN enterprise supply chain and pharmacy division.

In 2016, Dr. Suk was selected to the prestigious Baldrige Executive Fellows Program the only executive leadership fellowship that provides one-on-one access to leaders of Baldrige Award recipient organizations and the opportunity to learn role-model leadership strategies from these high-performing executives. For two years in a row, the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program has been highlighted as the Baldrige Program was honored with a first-place award in the government and military category of the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards, an annual recognition of the world’s best leadership development programs and initiatives. In addition, the Baldrige Program has been named in the top seven across all categories, including universities, that were part of the recognition.

Previously, Dr. Suk was Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Florida – Shands Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as Division Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma, Associate Director of the UF&Shands Regional Trauma System and Associate Director of the Orthopaedic Residency Program. While there, Dr. Suk established a highly specialized orthopaedic trauma division designed to maximize efficiency and enhance patient outcomes. Dr. Suk is on the editorial board for several orthopaedic journals, is the author of numerous scientific articles, and is the lead author of a landmark textbook on orthopaedic outcomes measures and instruments, now in its second printing worldwide. Dr. Suk has gained international attention for his groundbreaking work on the link between patient expectations and clinical outcomes in orthopaedic trauma surgery.

Dr. Suk has spoken both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics relevant to orthopaedic fracture management, health care literacy, access and delivery. Stemming from his unique credentials as a fellowship trained orthopaedic traumatologist and health care attorney, Dr. Suk is frequently asked to speak on the interface between law and medicine and has received numerous awards for leadership and public service. In 2009, Dr. Suk was chosen to be a member of Leadership Florida (Class XXVII) – a statewide program to develop future community leaders in Florida. Dr. Suk was selected as one of ten Leadership Fellows for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Prior to his current position, Dr. Suk was elected one of 5 representatives to the AAOS Board of Councilors representing the State of Florida and Secretary of the Florida Orthopaedic Society (FOS). Dr. Suk currently serves as Chair of the Health Policy Committees for the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), and the AAOS Board of Specialty Societies.

During his tenure as a White House Fellow, Dr. Suk organized Get Fit with US, designed to support President Bush’s domestic initiative, HealthierUS, a federal interagency program based on the premise that increasing personal fitness and becoming healthier is critical to achieving a better and longer life. To date, Dr. Suk has spoken to over 100 organizations and has engaged over a thousand leaders in health care, recreation and public health across the nation on this important issue. Dr. Suk was featured as a speaker at the TIME/ABC Summit on Obesity, and an invited panelist for the Kellogg Foundation Thought Leaders Gathering on Obesity to share his ideas.

In recognition of his unique set of interests and expertise, Dr. Suk was asked to serve as Senior Advisor on Health and Recreation to the National Park Service and as a Member of the National Forum on Children and Nature sponsored by the Conservation Fund – an initiative designed to transform the way we look at the interaction between children and their natural environments – nurturing future environmental stewards while promoting healthy lifestyles. In addition to his clinical duties, for several years Dr. Suk previously served on the Board of Directors of America on the Move, the American Hiking Society and on the non-profit national coordinating body to develop a National Plan for Physical Activity. In 2011, Dr. Suk, was asked to serve on the National Parks Centennial Steering Committee to efforts celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the United States National Park System. Currently, Dr. Suk is a member of the Board of Directors of the US Coalition on PLAY and the Urban Parks Committee of the National Park Foundation.

Throughout his career, Dr. Suk has been a vocal leader on public health issues and has spoken nationally on the role of organized medicine, resident work hours, obesity prevention and a variety of public health issues. Dr. Suk has been long active in organized medicine, achieving distinction as the first medical student and first Asian-American to be directly elected to the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. Dr. Suk has also served on the AMA Council on Medical Service and Chair of the AMA’s Resident and Fellows Section. Notably, Dr. Suk was recognized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea as an outstanding leader of Korean heritage worldwide. .In addition, in 2016, Dr. Suk was selected as a member of the American Medical Political Action Committee Board of Directors – spearheading advocacy for the entire medical profession in Washington, DC.

Dr. Suk received a B.A. with distinction in African-American history from Carleton College, where he achieved athletic recognition in collegiate tennis and was elected Class President. He then went on to simultaneously complete an M.D. at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a J.D./M.P.H. with special certification in health care law at Boston University School of Law and School of Public Health. He later completed his orthopaedic surgery residency training at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY and a fellowship in orthopaedic trauma at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University in New York City. In July, 2017, Dr. Suk will complete his M.B.A. from the University of Scranton Kania School of Management, where he recently made history in the international academic honor society, Alpha Sigma Nu for serving as the Keynote Speaker at his own induction ceremony.

Dr. Suk enjoys mentoring innovative, entrepreneurial leaders seeking to cross traditional boundaries, travelling with his family and playing golf and tennis.

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