Hospital hires director for occupational therapy |

Hospital hires director for occupational therapy

Staff Report

Employers throughout Eagle and Summit counties – as well as their employees – now have access to a doctor who specializes in work-related injuries, treatment and prevention.Dr. John “Randy” Burris has joined Vail Valley Medical Center’s Comprehensive Occupational Medicine Program as medical director. He will treat injuries and ailments suffered on the job.

“I find treating injured patients and seeing them get better quite rewarding,” says Burris, 45, who worked as an aerospace engineer before returning to medical school at the University of Colorado to study occupational medicine. “My job not only is treating injuries, but coming around and finding ways to prevent them from happening again.”A native of Denver, Burris is now providing direct patient care and medical direction to the program, which serves nearly 2,000 employers in the Eagle and Summit counties.

“It’s a way to make sure an employee is covered if they’re injured on the job,” says Burris. “And if there’s an epidemic of injuries from one site or location, I’d want to work with the employer to do something about it.”A lifelong skier, Burris recently worked as a medical volunteer for the ski patrol at Copper Mountain. An avid climber, too, he’s even climbed a dozen of Colorado’s “fourteeners.”

The most common work-related injuries he says he’s seen so far are the strains, sprains and lacerations typically suffered in the ski and construction industries. Although his patients often are referred to him from the emergency room, Burris also can be seen by appointment at the medical center’s facilities in Vail, Beaver Creek, Edwards, Eagle, Keystone and Breckenridge.Occupational Health Manager Cacky Ryan, a registered nurse who’s been with the program since it’s inception in 1999, says employees and employers often need help understanding the workman’s compensation system to avoid unnecessary costs in both money and time.For more information, call 970-479-5085 or visit To make COMP your designated medical provider, call Occupational Health Manager Cacky Ryan at 970-479-5099.

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