Decades of Care and Gratitude
It was a damp and chilly winter day when Blanche Baker welcomed me into the warmth of her home to share this wonderful story over a delicious bowl of homemade vegetable soup.
“My mother was the first to go to Dr. Palekar when he first came to Beebe,” Baker said. “Mother had trouble with the pronunciation of his name, and Dr. Palekar told her, ‘Just think of a trolley car to remember Palekar,’ so Mother called him Dr. Trolley Car from then on. I remember listening to my mother talk about him, and one day I asked, ‘He seems so nice, I wonder if he would take me and Ray as new patients?'” This was the beginning of a very special doctor-patient relationship that continues to this day.
“You can always hear Dr. Palekar coming down the hall in his office,” Baker continued. “Every time he opens the door to your exam room the first thing you see is his broad smile, and you are greeted with a very warm ‘Hello, and how are you today?’ He is a wonderful doctor, so very friendly, and he even shares a joke with you now and then. I have always felt so comfortable with him, and he is very thorough.
“I recall one instance from some time ago. I wasn’t feeling too well, and Dr. Palekar suspected that my kidneys could be infected. He sent me for some tests and then to see a specialist. Lo and behold, it was an infection. Dr. Palekar was right! With the combination of the specialist’s expertise and Dr. Palekar’s follow-up on every aspect of my care, we conquered that infection.
“I remember when Dr. Palekar welcomed me into his ’90 Club.’ He has so many patients who are in their 90s and are doing so very well. Dr. Palekar presented me with a certificate with fancy edges and told me that I had earned this. Actually, we earned it together, because he’s taken such good care of me.
“Dr. Palekar always explains what will happen if I do one thing or another and what will happen if I don’t. When your doctor tells you something is necessary, you are going to do it, especially when you have such a trusting and friendly relationship with your doctor, like I have with Dr. Palekar. I have recommended so many people to his practice, and he has done so much good for our community.
“Every age has its rewards. You just have to look for them – it’s not hard to see. God knew what he was doing, giving children to young adults. It’s when you are young that you have the energy to keep up with children. When you get to be 94, you lose some of your energy.”
Baker and her dear departed husband, Ray, have supported Beebe for more than 30 years. They have always made their giving decisions as a couple, and have always given to Beebe because having access to excellent care close to home is so important to them.
“Beebe has been a godsend to this area,” Baker said. “I’m sure there are a lot of people from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., who are glad Beebe is here because you never know when something is going to pop up and you’re going to need care.
“I remember in 1997 when Beebe wanted to expand in the Long Neck area. Ray and I met with several people from Beebe who thought they could afford to purchase two acres for a new office. We thought about the project and told them, we believe you are going to need at least five acres. They were concerned that they couldn’t afford five acres, but Ray and I told them not to worry about that. We’re going to give you the land. Ray was a part of all of this too; we discussed everything together. He felt the same way as I do about Dr. Palekar and Beebe.”
Blanche Baker continues to support Beebe because of the excellent care she has received from Dr. Palekar. Giving is a part of her family’s values, and it is an important expression of her gratitude.
“I don’t know what our community would do without Beebe,” she said. “That’s why I believe it is important to support our hospital. I told Dr. Palekar the other day, ‘When you add on to the hospital, you can name one room the Trolley Car Room with our gift.'”
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax-deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org/cec, or contact Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or [email protected].
Photo Caption: Celebrating Excellent Care and membership in Dr. Palekar’s “90 Club” are (l-r) Judy Aliquo, President of the Beebe Medical Foundation; Dr. Bhaskar Palekar; Blanche Baker; and Jeffrey Fried, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare.