Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University (Winship) has announced the recipients of the 2020 Robert L. "Bobby" Rearden Spirit of Winship Award, highlighting employees and volunteers for their exemplary service, teamwork, and commitment to caring for others.
Caroline Peacock, LCSW, MDiv, manager of spiritual health and community care for Winship and vice chair of wellness for the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, is the staff winner of the annual award. Mary Booth Thomas, a longtime volunteer and breast cancer survivor, is the volunteer recipient.
"It is a pleasure to honor Caroline and Mary Booth with the Spirit of Winship Award," says Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of Winship. "We are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on Bobby’s legacy and how fortunate we are at Winship to have so many extraordinary employees and volunteers who exemplify our core values."
Rearden served as a patient advocate on Winship's External Advisory Board comprised of national leaders at other NCI-designated cancer centers. He also served as honorary chair of Friends of Winship and was a founding member of Winship's Community Advisory Board. Rearden passed away in 2015 while undergoing treatment for a recurrence of leukemia. The following year, Winship named the inaugural recipients of the Robert L. "Bobby" Rearden Spirit of Winship Award.
As a leader of Winship's Spiritual Health Program, Peacock oversees spiritual support of patients and families as well as direct support of clinical care teams. In 2019, Peacock and Winship psychiatric oncologist Wendy Baer, MD co-developed the Wellness Program of the Emory Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, which focuses on practices to improve the physical, spiritual, and psychological well-being of faculty and staff. "Caroline is dedicated to providing for the well-being of our entire Winship community, which she approaches with thoughtfulness, compassion, and humanity," says Baer. "Since the COVID-19 pandemic, her impact has become more profound and more crucial than ever."
Thomas was inspired to become a Winship volunteer after she was treated for breast cancer 19 years ago. She has completed over 1,500 Winship volunteer hours, serving on the hospitality cart, helping with fundraisers and activities, and mentoring new volunteers. "Mary Booth is part of a core group of dedicated volunteers who are also cancer survivors," says DaVida Lee-Williams, director of guest and volunteer services at Winship. "She connects with patients and families on a personal level, providing hope and inspiration by sharing her experience."
A monetary award will be made in the name of the award recipients to an area of their choosing within Winship. Award recipients and members of the Rearden family will gather for a virtual celebration.