The Pulse highlights Dr. Sue Park
Dr. Park is a family physician at Boynton Primary Care and Urgent Care. She’s passionate about her job and enjoys working with patients and colleagues alike, who she believes are some of the best in the business– “all super smart and clinically astute and motivated, and just wonderful caregivers.” She became a physician in order to help people, noting “I really just love helping people with things that help them feel better on a day-to-day basis. I think that’s really important.” If she could give one piece of advice to our students, it would be to get enough sleep. In her free time, Dr. Park loves to sing, read, and sew. Boynton Health looks forward to highlighting many amazing members of our campus community. Look for Dr. Park’s feature on social media soon!
My Summer Vacation
As some of you may know, I take time off each year to travel to northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Manitoba to provide training for camp staff who lead canoe and backpacking trips into the wilderness. Some of the trips are shorter trips for kids 2-3 days. Some are longer, 7-14 days, and they go to areas like the BWCA, Alaska, Ontario and Lake Superior and some are very long 14-54 days and they venture into areas like the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Labrador, and other remote areas of the north. You may know some of the organizations I work with. Outward Bound, Wilderness Inquiry, Camp Widjiwagan, Camp Menogyn and many others. I am in Ely MN right now writing this piece for the BH newsletter.
I have been training lifeguards since 1975 and also got involved with more extensive canoe trips over the years in Minnesota, Ontario and on the Mississippi. In 1989, the directors of three summer camps contacted me and a friend of mine about creating a training that would better prepare trip leaders to serve as lifeguards in wilderness settings. I have been teaching these classes ever since. Since mid May, I have been out teaching /travelling almost every day in very cold to now strangely warm lakes.
I also follow drowning incidents closely. With warm temps and the easing of COVID restrictions many of us are enjoying the perks of having 10,000 plus lakes just out our back door. There has been a surge in drownings over the past couple weeks. Generally, drowning is preventable if we do just two things.
- Supervise children in the water. That means you have to watch them every second they are in the water without multitasking. Even if lifeguards are present. On a busy day they can’t watch everybody. In fact, many drownings are prevented by a bystander calling to the lifeguard and pointing at a drowning patron. Drownings can happen in just seconds. Once a struggling swimmer goes under the surface of the water in lakes and rivers they can be very, very hard to find.
- Wear a lifejacket when boating. The size of the boat doesn’t matter. Big boats, smaller motorcraft, sail boats, personal watercraft (jet skis), stand up paddleboards, kayaks, pontoon boats and paddle boats all have accidents. Life jackets or PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) are like seatbelts. Most drownings from boating accidents would not have resulted in drowning if a lifejacket had been properly worn by the victim.
Drowning is often the leading cause of accidental death in kids age 1-4 and over half of all drownings are kids age 1-4.
In spite of all that and knowing that there will be about 3500 deaths due to drowning in the US this year, I still encourage everyone to get out there and enjoy the water while we can. Learn to swim. Get comfortable in the water and it makes all those water activities so much more fun and safer.