Blue Devil of the Week: The People Person at the Front Desk

Wanda Parker provides support to Duke Health and Fitness Center members

“I’m the first person you meet when you come to the Duke Health and Fitness Center. I really and truly love people. I like to make them feel better if they come in and they had a bad day, and a lot of times they share everything with me that sometimes they don’t share with the exercise physiologist helping them. I show a concern about their wellbeing and they say I make their day. 

My work ethic, personality and genuine concern for others have inspired discouraged clients to continue with their program.  There was a lady who came in, and she said she wasn’t feeling good that day. She had just recently separated from her husband. I told her, ‘I just want you to know I’m here for you.’ She started smiling and started to cry. I gave her a little tissue and I said, ‘It’s OK to let it out.’ I told her that if you get up in the morning, you’re getting ready, and your mind changes and you don’t want to go to the gym, just think, ‘If I don’t come, Ms. Wanda’s going to miss me.’

Another member comes in to work out with his walker every day. It is really hard for him to stand up straight while pushing his walker.  I tell him that he is doing a great job, and he always tells me that I am very encouraging, and he looks forward to coming in and exercising every day because he knows I will compliment him on his hard work and great efforts.”

Wanda Parker
Patient service associate, Duke Health and Fitness Center
38 years at Duke

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