To celebrate years of excellent care by Dr. Bhaskar Palekar and his amazing team, Joe and Bernie Polinski made a gift to the Beebe Medical Foundation to support the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. Recently, they gathered in Dr. Palekar’s office with balloons, certificates, and Beebe Healing Hands pins to recognize and appreciate everyone who has been a part of their care. After the party, Bernie shared how her relationship with Dr. Palekar and his team began.
“I started seeing Dr. Palekar in 2006. During an appointment in 2013, I told him how my identical twin was recently diagnosed with uterine cancer. Dr. Palekar immediately sent me for an ultrasound. At the completion of the test I was told it would be a couple of days for the results to get back to the doctor’s office. That evening Dr. Palekar called and said, ‘I need to see you in my office.’ He had looked at my ultrasound report and wanted me to see a gynecologist. I had several biopsies and they were determined to be pre-cancerous. As it turns out, Dr. Palekar discovered my uterine cancer very early and saved my life.”
Several years ago, Joe was seeing several different doctors. At one point he was told that his kidneys were starting to fail. That’s when Joe and Bernie decided they needed to see Dr. Palekar right away. Dr. Palekar had a very caring conversation, one that he often has with his patients. He said, “Listen, I am going to do a lot of things for you, and I am going to need you to do a couple of things for me. I am going to ask you to make some changes. These changes are related to what you are eating and drinking, and exercise. I need you to stop doing some things, and I need you to do a little more of this or that. I want to help you, but I also need you to help me. If we can work together, we will get much better results.”
Dr. Palekar credits the Polinskis, as a couple, for Joe’s improved health: “Joe has made some changes to his lifestyle, and Bernie is a really good ‘private-duty nurse.’ Joe is in my office for half an hour; he is with his wife for life. Bernie loves and cares for Joe, and that’s what makes the difference. I like that Bernie comes with Joe to his appointments. I like that she pushes Joe.”
Bernie added, “When Joe leaves the doctor’s office, he is inspired. He works hard until his next visit; then Dr. Palekar’s enthusiasm and happiness motivates both of us all over again. We go home and know that we did good work – together. Dr. Palekar saved my life, and now he is saving Joe’s. He is adding to the quality of our lives.”
Joe and Bernie also recognized several nurses in Dr. Palekar’s office.
“Angie Turner is an incredibly passionate, tenacious nurse. She regularly goes above and beyond the norm for conscientious, comprehensive care, and provides this care with the greatest compassion. Angie has worked with Dr. Palekar for 16 years, and she cares for us like we are members of her family. She reviews Joe’s medical records and highlights everything she knows Dr. Palekar wants to quickly and easily see before Joe’s appointments. Every great team has incredibly strong players who work behind the scenes to support the needs of each patient. Eileen Dawson’s dedication and compassion as a nurse completes the circle of care within Dr. Palekar’s team.”
This story is not unique. Dr. Bhaskar Palekar has cared for thousands of people in his career at Beebe Healthcare, saving and changing people’s lives, every day. For more than four decades, he has personally helped Beebe to grow and evolve.
Dr. Palekar started at Beebe in 1977 and shared, “I felt like I lived in the hospital. Back then my average day was 18 to 20 hours long and I really enjoyed it, but my kids and my wife never saw me. When I would come to the fifth floor, the nurses would look at me, laugh and say, ‘Here comes the homeless doctor!'”
In the early 1980s, Dr. Palekar was the chairman of Beebe’s Physician Recruiting Team. Dr. Palekar has an eye for talent, and so many of Beebe’s wonderful physicians are here because of his efforts.
Joe and Bernie’s praise for Dr. Palekar is heartfelt: “He has a physician’s intuition that drives him to leave no stone unturned when diagnosing a patient’s condition. He provides good guidance and directs us on a path forward for our care. He always follows up to ensure we achieve the best results.”
Dr. Palekar is also grateful: “I am thankful for Joe and Bernie’s appreciation, and their nurses were truly touched too. Joe and Bernie have also made a difference in our lives. When good people like the Polinskis make a donation to recognize us, this is something that is so very special.”
As a community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe continues to depend on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts, large or small, to Beebe Healthcare, are tax deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and share your amazing stories with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or email [email protected].
Photo Caption: Joe and Bernie Polinski made a Celebrate Excellent Care donation to recognize Dr. Bhaskar Palekar and his team for providing years of outstanding care. Shown are (l-r) Dr. Bhaskar Palekar; Angie Turner, LPN; Joe and Bernie Polinski; and Eileen Dawson, LPN.