(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Winford was there to open the doors on July 29, 1985.
Winford began her career at Lakeside in the laundry department.
"We had 11 residents here on that first day," Winford said.
Winford had worked as a nurse's aide at Lane's Nursing Home in Monette for seven and a half years before going to Lakeside.
The Lake City native said she was very happy to work in her hometown.
"I don't drive and I live only five houses from Lakeside," Winford said. "It was perfect for me."
Winford said you never know when you start a new job if it will be right for you but she said it turned out to be the right move for her.
Early in her career at Lakeside, Winford transferred from the laundry department and once again went to work as a certified nursing assistant. Over the last years she has spent her time in the rehabilitation area.
When Winford came to work at the new facility it was owned and operated by Extendi-Care, Joe and Caren Gamble. It was purchased by Reliance Health Care on July 1, 2001.
Winford said when she started work at Lakeside it was a 40 bed facility and 16 retirement. She has seen it grow through three expansions and it is now a 75 bed facility.
"I think Lakeside is the best facility anywhere," Winford said. "My mother was a resident here, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were residents here. We are a real family and everyone does what it takes to get the job done and care for our residents. Like any other job, sometimes it can get frustrating and hard, but the rewards are wonderful."
Winford said she has continued her in-service training throughout the years and at times has had the opportunity to help train new employees.
She presently works on the south wing in the restorative area.
"We work with the patients and after therapy many are ready to go home and others are ready to go back to their rooms in the nursing home," Winford said. "Our goal is to help our patients have a better quality of life."
Winford said she has made a lot of friends during her 20 years at Lakeside.
"You not only get close to the residents, you get close to their families," she said.
Winford is married to Ronnie Winford. He is part of a family owned roofing company.
They raised five children, three boys and two girls. Their oldest daughter passed away about five years ago with cancer.
"The nursing home was very good to me during that difficult time," Winford said. "They let me off work to care for her at home."
They have 13 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Winford attends the First Baptist Church.
"Our church is very supportive of Lakeside," Winford said. "They conduct a Sunday School class every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and host birthday parties once a month. Volunteers are very important here at Lakeside.
"I've heard a lot of people praise Lakeside. We have a good reputation because of the care we give."