Interview with Mayor Jim Burke, Part 2

Here’s the second in our Guest Interview series with Dixon Mayor Jim Burke. It’s interesting to bring perspectives and input from community leaders and people outside the KSB team. We appreciate Mayor Burke’s thoughtful and candid responses.

– Dave
KSB occupies a major portion of downtown
Dixon.  What’s ahead for our
downtown?  How important is it that KSB
remain in its current location?
The City will be making a major multi-million
dollar commitment to streetscape and renovate our Central Business District
using tax increment financing revenue. 
The project will mirror the improvements made on South Hennepin Avenue
between River Street and 2nd Street.  The
Heritage Crossing Riverfront Plaza has been one of the main catalysts in
transforming the downtown into a vibrant collection of business activities,
including several restaurants and art venues. 
It is an understatement to say that KSB plays a big role in downtown
revitalization.  KSB anchors the downtown
on the east end and in the center with the KSB Medical Group.  Besides being the City’s largest employer and
based in the downtown, KSB is directly responsible for bringing thousands of
patients into the downtown annually.
Furthermore, KSB is proactive in financially supporting
downtown activities and other worthwhile community endeavors.  The continued presence and development of the
KSB campus is essential to the continued success of our Central Business
What concerns do local business and government
leaders have regarding healthcare?
First of all, not only business and governmental
leaders, but residents generally want healthcare services without driving to
Rockford, Madison or other communities to obtain.  For example, for years kidney patients were
driving to Rockford weekly for dialysis treatment.  KSB responded by providing the treatment in
the KSB Medical Group facility.  This
made a number of people very happy.  I
know KSB has brought a number of specialty services to the community and this
trend can continue as we grow our population. 
Business and government are wrestling with health insurance and
healthcare costs, but there is no free lunch.  One well-meaning Dixon resident told me a few
years ago about having a serious heart attack at home and being transported to
KSB for treatment.  Later he walked into
my office back to his old self complaining about the medical bill.  He said “Jim, do you know that bill came
to over $10,000?”  I said,
“Yes, Joe, and do you realize you are still alive?”  End of complaint.
With long days and plenty of stress, how do you
stay healthy?
Even though I am overweight, I conscientiously try
to eat healthy with lots of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.  I have light breakfasts and lunches with an
emphasis on fish or chicken for the main meal. 
I have the quality under control but not the quantity. 
I am not a
vitamin freak, but I have been taking a multivitamin daily for many years, plus
a high-powered vitamin C tablet.  I take
a daily 20-25 minute walk up and down the hills of Idle Oaks regardless of the
weather, which has resulted in a few falls in the winter including one a few
days ago.  Finally, I do sit-ups and
push-ups on a daily basis.  At one time I
was up to a 1000 push-ups a day but I have scaled that way back.  I try and usually do get 7 hours sleep a night
but between the discovery of the Crundwell embezzlement and the arrest when
Kathe Swanson and I were told to not discuss it with anybody, it was sleep on
an intermittent basis, waking up about every 15 minutes.

Thank you Mayor Burke for being our first celebrity interview on The Pulse!  We look forward to continuing a wonderful relationship between KSB Hospital and the City of Dixon.

– Dave
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