“March Madness” is alive and well at MUSC Health. If not in fact, then at least in the heart and mind of Chris Streck, pediatric surgeon, residency program director, trauma chief, husband, father and college basketball aficionado. At a shade under 6’3”, a graduate of Duke University, and a former high school basketball champion, Chris Streck can’t deny the basketball fever that flows in his veins, and how it roils rapidly every March when the madness begins. And it is no coincidence that this father of four has two sons, and a dog, named after three famous Duke basketball players—Christian, Grant and Winslow. Well, perhaps not his 12 year old son, Christian, III. That is of course, a family name.
Honoring former Duke basketball players aside, basketball is not the only competitive sport that is top of mind in the Streck household. He and his wife, Maria, also a physician at MUSC, enjoy running and try to make time for a sprint at least three times a week. Chris also plays basketball at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings in Mt. Pleasant with the “Early Risers,” a somewhat middle-aged group of weekend warriors who enjoy the exercise, as well as the thrill of hitting a basket beyond the three point arc—sometimes.
In addition to medicine, also at the top of their priority list, both of the doctors Streck take an active role in their children’s sporting events with verve and gusto. Together, they collaboratively manage the craziness of shuttling the kids back and forth to nearly ten separate soccer practices each week. “With all four of the kids playing soccer and no two practices at the same time, we have to do this as a team,” Chris beams proudly. Having met his wife in medical school at Wake Forest University, the two forged a relationship and continued on to Memphis for their residencies, pairing up in a perfect partnership. “We could not have been more suited to each other,” describes Chris. “We are both extremely passionate about our medical careers, and even more importantly, about our family,” adds Chris. “I am fortunate to have healthy, bright and motivated kids, a great wife, and outstanding colleagues at MUSC. In essence, I have two incredible families, and I consider it a privilege to be in this position.”
As the wearer of many hats, when asked how he spends his free time, Chris responds quickly. “When I am not at the hospital with my MUSC family, I am cruising around in my jeep making sure the kids get to practice on time. My free time is with my kids and I am okay with that. I feel fortunate to have this life and I am all in regardless of where I am.”
Shooting baskets, juggling balls, running the kids to practice, teaching the next generation of pediatric surgeons, as the chief of pediatric surgery, one does not have to speculate about Chris Streck’s dedication to caring for kids. His life is kids. “My life is also like juggling balls,” he adds. “When one ball almost reaches the ground, I can catch it because that’s when the next one goes in the air.” And Chris Streck, master of much, seems destined to always be there to catch it.