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Former Patient Celebrates Birthday with MJH Anniversary

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Linwood Timberlake Linwood Timberlake

Thursday, Martha Jefferson Hospital is celebrating three years since moving to its new location on Pantops in Charlottesville. One former patient has made it a point to spend his birthday every year at the facility as a special way to mark the anniversary.

Hundreds of people walk through the halls of Martha Jefferson Hospital every day to receive health care. For one man, it's the comfort and companionship that mean the most.

Linwood Timberlake is a familiar face for many staff members at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

He said, “I've learned an awful lot of them by first name and they know who I am regardless. I can't get around them. They just bring my heart out.”

He visits his favorite spots frequently, stopping by to say hi to employees at the pharmacy and Greenberry's Coffee shop.

“That's my McDonald's place for retirement,” Timberlake said. “I spend my time there with them quite often.”

Thursday, Timberlake is celebrating his 76th birthday with friends at the facility on Pantops. He has made it an annual tradition and says honoring the hospital's move is part of his festivities.

He said, “The day it happened it clicked. I said I can't believe they've done it. They pulled it off and I said every year, I'll be aging with the hospital.”

Timberlake's wife of 56 years is also currently a patient at the hospital's infusion center. He says his connections make the process a whole lot easier.

“The overall friendliness and environment will just blow you away,” said Timberlake. “The people - they never fail to recognize you. I come in this morning, I didn't have my hat on - they still knew who I was.”

Hospital administrators stress these relationships are what they strive to build every day. 

Martha Jefferson Hospital Administrative Director Catherine Boucher said, “It's really about making the connection with the patients and their families, and if you have to be in the hospital, we want to make it the best experience for you possible.”

“These people have never turned their back on me. Every time I've ever walked through these doors, I got the same reception,” Timberlake said.

Timberlake received a birthday cupcake when the doors first opened at the new site three years ago. Last year, the hospital staff organized a special flash mob performance as his gift.

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