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Published on August 22, 2020

The CCH director of Rehabilitation Services talks about virtual races and real-world happiness 

Photo of Julie Drake

Julie Drake, PT, DPT, is the Director of Rehabilitation services at Cape Cod Hospital and is co-director of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People program, which is hosting a virtual Healthy Parks, Healthy People 5K Run/Walk and 10-mile Ride in September. The event, created in partnership with the Cape Cod National Seashore, raises heart-health awareness as well as funds that benefit the Cape Cod Healthcare Cardiac Rehabilitation program and the Friends of the National Seashore.

1. What was your favorite on-the-job experience?

Most recently, it was getting our AACVPR certification for our cardiac rehab program. When I got my doctorate in physical therapy, I did my thesis on cardiac rehab because I had a real interest in it at that time, so to actually develop a cardiac rehab program here and to see it be so successful was so great.

2. If you could have any other career, what would it be?

I actually settled in on physical therapy when I was in high school. I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse or physician, but I knew I wanted to be in healthcare and help people in some way. I was fortunate to be focused and know what I wanted to be… and I never looked back. It’s a great career – a great career to have with family.

For something fun though, I always thought it would be fun to own an independent bookstore. It would just be such a great place to be, surrounding yourself with great books.

3. What are you most excited about?

Aside from the HPHP 5K, I’m most excited about being able to travel again. We always have a trip in the works whether it’s to Europe or a National Park. It’s been difficult to not have that next trip being planned.

4. What’s the next thing on your to-do list?

I’m participating in the Stay-at-Home Falmouth Road Race. I’m training for that. I have to walk or run five miles today to ramp up my mileage. I wouldn’t normally run the Falmouth Road Race, but this year, the race is so accessible to everyone. You can do it over a week – they don’t mind if you do a mile a day. My daughter and I signed up for it.

5. What song is stuck in your head at the moment?

It would have to be one of the songs from Hamilton. We watched it at home a few times now. Which one shall I pick…? <laughs>

6. What life advice would you give people?

Put yourself out there and take risks. Try things that might seem scary or things you may not succeed in. You learn as much from your failures as you do from your success. I can’t say that I’ve personally always lived my life this way – I’m fairly conservative -- but every time I do, I’m very thankful that I’ve put myself out there.

7. What should everyone have in their kitchen/medicine cabinet?

A stick blender. I absolutely love my stick blender. It’s great for making sauces and purees!

8. What’s your best high school memory?

Aw! I think of my senior year, in general. I graduated with a class of 40 people. We were all so close, even though we were all so different. I grew up in a small town, just a regular public school in Chautauqua, NY, outside of Buffalo. I have such fond memories of high school.

9. What makes you laugh the hardest?

It’s usually something that my son has said. He’s 28 and he has a PhD in physics. What I love most about him is he doesn’t take himself seriously. He has the most fun sense of humor. The things he comes up with just crack me up. When I’ve had a good belly laugh, it’s usually because of Christian.

10. Name something you can’t do?

Water ski. I used to water ski with friends when I was young. In conversation with my kids, I wouldn’t really brag, but in conversation I’d mention that I could water ski, drop a ski and ski slalom. That was fun.
On a family vacation, we were out on this lake in Montana and we all went out on the boat and I could not… get… up for the life of me. The kids were like, “Alright, Mom.”
I could, but I can’t. <laughs>