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New Directions - A Lifetime of Care: Suburban Hospital Celebrates 70th Anniversary

New Directions Winter 2013

A Lifetime of Care: Suburban Hospital Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Date: November 1, 2013

Lucy Tolson Clarke
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Bethesda native Lucy Tolson Clarke has had a lifelong relationship with Suburban Hospital since her birth here in 1944.

Suburban Hospital has been there for Lucy Tolson Clarke and her family for nearly 70 years. The 69-year-old was born at the hospital on November 30, 1944, less than a year after the hospital opened its doors on December 13, 1943.

“I remember when it was just a little white building,” she says. “And I’ve watched it expand over the years.”

Clarke, a Bethesda native, grew up just a few blocks from the hospital on Glenwood Road in a house her parents moved into back in 1941. “That was when my mom referred to Bethesda as ‘The Village,’” she says. “Everything has grown by leaps and bounds since then.”

When she was a teenager, Clarke returned to Suburban Hospital as a Candy Striper, where she helped make beds and feed patients. “I remember pushing the magazine cart around,” she says.

Later, after getting married and having three children, Clarke became acquainted with the hospital’s emergency room. “My daughter swallowed a dime once and was there for a week,” she says. “And our younger son was always breaking something or getting stitches.”

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

Clarke, a former NIH senior grants management specialist and grandmother of four, currently resides in Rockville with her husband, Gary.

View our 70th celebration slideshow.