Saint Luke's cardiologist gives back to Saint Luke's Rehabilitation Institute

November 7, 2019

From chairing Books & Boutiques to bringing music therapy to the Saint Luke's Rehabilitation Institute, Saint Luke’s cardiologist Dr. Tony Zink and his wife, Toni, have supported Saint Luke’s for nearly two decades. “We want to help improve the type and quality of health care available locally,” Toni Zink said. “We’re honored to support the Rehabilitation Institute so patients can receive the type of excellent treatment my husband received when he unexpectedly needed rehabilitative care.”

The Zink’s rehabilitation journey began in 1993. While a resident in Georgia, Dr. Zink’s car was crushed by an off-duty ambulance whose driver ran a red light. Following the accident, Dr. Zink’s condition was grim. He was unconscious for several days and was in ICU for three weeks. With his wife by his side every step of the way, Dr. Zink slowly began to recover, and after a month in acute care, he was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

“I was in the rehabilitation setting for a month. We worked on brushing my teeth, writing, walking, and other necessary activities needed for daily living,” said Dr. Zink. During this time, he noticed his left hand had lost strength and coordination that would significantly limit his ability to do cardiac procedures as a physician. His care team recommended music therapy.

“I had played the piano for many years and started playing the small spinet in rehab for therapy of my left hand,” said Dr. Zink. “The music and the physical therapy of my hand also translated into excellent cognitive therapy and helped tremendously in my recovery.”

His wife Toni agrees, “Participating in music therapy has benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally. It crosses all boundaries of gender, age, race, and abilities. Joy or comfort can be hard to find after a traumatic injury. That’s why we’re such strong advocates for the rehabilitation program at Saint Luke’s.”

Today, Dr. Zink competes in marathons and Ironman competitions and carries a full patient caseload. Through the generosity of Dr. Zink and Toni, the Rehabilitation Institute now includes a music therapy program, with a full-time music therapist.

To learn more about how you can make an impact in rehabilitation care in Kansas City, contact 816-932-2252 or visit Saint Luke's Foundation.