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Dome - A Lifetime of Care

Dome December 2013

A Lifetime of Care

Date: December 2, 2013


Lucy Tolson Clarke has watched Suburban Hospital evolve almost since its beginning—and her own. The former NIH senior grants management specialist and grandmother of four resides in Rockville with her husband, Gary.
Lucy Tolson Clarke has watched Suburban Hospital evolve almost since its beginning—and her own. The former NIH senior grants management specialist and grandmother of four resides in Rockville with her husband, Gary.

As Suburban Hospital celebrates its 70th anniversary, Lucy Tolson Clarke recalls the stages it has marked in her life, beginning with her own birth. The 69-year-old Rockville resident arrived at the hospital on Nov. 30, 1944—less than a year after it opened its doors.

“I remember when it was just a little white building,” she says. “And I’ve watched it expand over the years.” Clarke grew up just a few blocks from Suburban during the days when many still referred to Bethesda as “the village.” As a teenager, she volunteered as a candy striper, helping to make beds and feed patients. By the time she became a mother, the hospital had closed its labor and delivery unit, but Clarke soon became acquainted with its emergency room. “My daughter swallowed a dime once and was there for a week,” she recalls. “And our younger son was always breaking something or getting stitches.”

Her most recent visit, in July, was for a total knee replacement. “I had a great experience,” Clarke says. “Suburban has always taken really good care of me and my family.”

—Sean Liphard

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