Our inaugural conference also yielded another first: the establishment of an annual award to honor an entity or individual who has done the most to develop, advance, and build the PACE movement in the state.
This award is intended to recognize extraordinary service – and extraordinary impact. Each PACE professional goes above and beyond the call of duty every day. That’s the nature of the job and the people who do them! The recipient of the NC PACESETTER Award however, finds a way to raise the bar and change the world – enabling all of us to do a better job of serving our constituencies and building the PACE community.
The first award was presented to Dr. Marsha Fretwell, an individual of singular – some say legendary – stature in the PACE movement and accomplishment in the field. Without Dr. Fretwell’s determination, passion and belief in PACE as a “game-changing” solution to caring for our frail elderly, PACE may have never become an option in North Carolina. An advocate for PACE as a practicing geriatrician, Dr. Fretwell became the first PACE Medical Director of North Carolina's first PACE program, Elderhaus PACE in Wilmington. Dr. Fretwell did not come to PACE as a proponent of a PROGRAM. She came to see PACE as a SOLUTION to a healthcare challenge we all face together – how to best provide for and support our aging mothers, fathers, neighbors, friends and patients.
To honor her vision, determination, and legacy, and to establish the standard for the annual NC PACESETTER Award, henceforth, this recognition and award will be known as the "Dr. Marsha Fretwell NC PACESETTER Award".