Virtua remembers David Flinker, MD
It is with great sadness that Virtua learned of the passing of a long-time friend and physician leader, David Flinker, MD. Dr. Flinker became part of the Virtua family over 50 years ago when he came to Memorial Hospital Burlington County, now Virtua Memorial. Dr. Flinker was the first physician offering expertise in Hematology and Medical Oncology in Burlington County. Throughout his career, he served as a mentor to other physicians, guiding them in the art of compassionate care.
Dr. Flinker served as Assistant Chief of Internal Medicine from 1971 to 1973 and then as Chief of the Department from 1973 to 1991. During that time, he also served as President of the Medical Staff for the term 1980-1981. Dr. Flinker was the driving force in the development of the Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center. His significant endeavors led to the hospital’s first cancer program receiving accreditation by the American College of Surgeons in 1979. Under his mentorship, the program continued to grow through the years, leading to the partnership between Virtua and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in early 1991. His contributions were numerous and included the expansion of the Department of Internal Medicine, recruitment of specialty groups, the development of the strategic planning process, construction of the North Wing, and creation of the Howard Fiala lecture series. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Memorial Hospital Burlington County Foundation, today known as Virtua Foundation, ensuring that there were resources to support the programs and initiatives of the hospital.
Dr. Flinker firmly believed that art was important to healing and, as a result, Virtua Memorial has showcased art for more than 20 years. Dr. Flinker invited local artists to exhibit and offer their work for sale. Ahead of his time in many ways, Dr. Flinker was quoted in a 1991 New York Times article saying: "A hospital environment can be frightening and tense. Art does something for people. The gallery is a strategic place. Color, form and images on a daily basis can provide a conscious as well as a subliminal lift." Dr. Flinker excelled and was respected as a humanitarian, clinician and medical administrator. The Pavilion Art Gallery was named for Dr. Flinker upon his retirement.
Dr. Flinker truly will be missed, but his legacy is visible in the dedicated staff of Virtua Memorial and the many patients he served during his incredible career.
Dr. Flinker’s family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Dr. Flinker Fund for Memorial Hospital
c/o Virtua Foundation
401 Route 73 North
50 Lake Center, Suite 301
Marlton, NJ 08053