All in the Family: 60 Years of Bethesda

Bethesda Health | December 24, 2015

How many people can say that the place where they spend their days is also where their life began? More so, the place where many of their family’s life events also occurred? Bethesda Dilworth’s Activities Supervisor Paulette Parks certainly can.

A Family Healthcare TraditionCN9F8474Paulette

Paulette’s Bethesda story began more than 60 years ago, when she was born at the old Bethesda General Hospital in 1954. The day she went home as a newborn was the same day the organization opened the new hospital. She remembers going back several years later to have her tonsils removed. “I remember the hospital, a blue building, being at Grand and Vista,” she recalls. “We took the bus to get there.”

One of Paulette’s sisters was also born at Bethesda General Hospital, and later her Aunt Cynthia had some of her nursing training at Bethesda.

Returning to Bethesda

Paulette’s professional career at Bethesda began in 1982, when she secured a job in the housekeeping department. “I remember the day when I put in my application,” she says. “Bethesda just felt like a right fit.”

She worked in housekeeping for two years before transferring to physical therapy. Her time as a therapist helped her at home as she learned many important skills she needed to take care of her son, who had muscular dystrophy. Then, in 1986, she took her position in the Activities Department. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Make Each Day Pleasant”

As Activities Supervisor, Paulette helps organize the residents’ day-to-day happenings and social events, ranging from:

She also plans monthly birthday parties and happy hours, complete with drinks, cake and ice cream, and live entertainment. “It’s nice to make each day more pleasant for the residents,” she explains. “I try to make them feel that this is their home. We want them to feel comfortable in expressing their needs and wants.”

Paulette has many memories from her 33 years as a Bethesda employee, but some of her favorite times include getting to know the residents and seeing the fun they have at the events. “The closeness you get from being one-on-one with them is very fulfilling. I enjoy watching them have a great day,” she says. “After an activity is over, it’s nice to hear ‘Can we do that again?’”

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