In 1999, Senior PharmAssist created two awards – the Margaret K. Goodwin Service Award and the Thomas R. Howerton Leadership Award – to honor two individuals who made extraordinary contributions to the health and lives of Durham residents. This year, we established the Ruth Mary Meyer Sustainability Award, a tribute to another remarkable community change agent. All three honors were bestowed in 2014 on the occasion of our 20th anniversary.
Margaret K. Goodwin Service Award
The Margaret K. Goodwin Service Award is presented to an individual or organization for providing exemplary service to help Durham senior adults lead healthier and more independent lives through medication assistance and other preventive health measures.
On Jan. 23, 2010, Senior PharmAssist and the Durham community lost a dear friend with the passing of Margaret Catherine Kennedy Goodwin. Throughout her 91 years, Margaret nurtured and displayed an infinite love for life – and compassion for others. She was also an unabashed trailblazer who broke down walls of social injustice. Margaret was the first person of color to hold office with the American Society of X-Ray Technicians. This national recognition prompted the NC Society of Radiologic Technologists, which had denied her admission, to reconsider, and she later became the first Black President of that organization.
Margaret served as Chief of Radiology and Laboratory Services at Lincoln Hospital (now Lincoln Community Health Center), where she worked for 35 years. Margaret was a strong advocate – for decades – for the healthcare of all those who call Durham home, and she was a special friend to Senior PharmAssist, delivering her “monthly dues” and pound cake until the last few months of her magnificent life.
Long-time volunteer David Farrell is the most recent recipient of the Goodwin Service Award, and you could say it’s long overdue. David has been involved with Senior PharmAssist since before the program began; he met Founding Director Gina Upchurch in public health graduate school when she was developing our program’s design. Ultimately, David helped create our name and logo, first brochure, and Senior PharmAssist’s unique and powerful database. His generosity and genius have been a huge part of our success.
Recipients of the Goodwin Award:
Joan Pellettier (1999)
Hal Silberman, Senior Health Center (2000)
Information and Case Assistance Staff at the Council for Senior Citizens (2001)
Ann Carole Moylan (2004)
Betty K. Borden (2006)
Elaine Hart-Brothers (2009)
David Farrell (2014)
Thomas R. Howerton Leadership Award
The Thomas R. Howerton Leadership Award is presented to an individual or organization for providing exemplary leadership to help Durham senior adults lead healthier and more independent lives through medication assistance and other preventive health measures.
On April 30, 2013, Tom Howerton left us at age 91. Durham-born and Duke-educated, he was a dear friend to our program but was also a pivotal figure in the integration of healthcare in our community, as chronicled in The News & Observer. Tom began his career with the NC Medical Care Commision, building hospitals throughout the state, and later served as administrator of hospitals in Pinehurst and Wilson.
He returned to Durham in 1970 and was instrumental in the creation of the Durham County Hospital Corporation, eased the merger of Lincoln and Watts hospitals in the early 1970s and supervised the construction of Durham County General Hospital (now Duke Regional). Tom was actively involved with the Foundation for Better Health of Durham and the Coordinating Council for Senior Citizens, and was one of six “program developers” who helped give birth to Senior PharmAssist. He served as treasurer on our board for many years.
Tom approached his work with Senior PharmAssist as he approached his entire career: merging a sharp business sense with a heart of gold. His imprint on our program and community are indelible, and we miss him greatly.
In June 2014, Durham County Public Health Director Gayle Harris became the latest recipient of the Howerton Leadership Award. Gayle is a long-time public health catalyst in Durham and thrives on bringing people together to improve the well-being of all residents. She has been integral to the success of many initiatives, including the Partnership for a Healthy Durham and Project Access of Durham County, and is a practical leader who keeps her ear to the ground – so she knows what the community needs and is capable of achieving.
Recipients of the Howerton Award:
Richard Myers (1999)
Vic Moore (2000)
Margaret Keller (2001)
Carolyn Robbins (2004)
Lisa Nadler (2006)
Andy Barada (2009)
Dan Hudgins (2011)
Gayle Harris (2014)
Ruth Mary Meyer Sustainability Award
Last year, Senior PharmAssist lost a long-time and generous friend, former board member Ruth Mary Meyer. Ruth Mary’s amazing benevolence – during her lifetime and upon her death – enabled us to establish a non-endowed agency fund, The Senior PharmAssist Stewardship Fund, at Triangle Community Foundation. As a tribute to her, we created an award this year to recognize other individuals or groups that share their treasure to improve the well-being of older adults in Durham. The inaugural recipient of this sustainability award is The Stewards Fund, whose generous support – both outright and via challenge grants – has strengthened our program immeasurably for the long haul.