In 2021, CMSS presented the inaugural Spirit Award to Dr. Noel DeBacker, who served as CMSS’s medical director for 30 years. Dr. DeBacker was a longtime CMSS board member and an award-winning geriatrician who elevated his profession through new approaches to care. At CMSS, Dr. DeBacker focused on revolutionary and interdisciplinary methods that encouraged staff to work collaboratively to address all aspects of a resident’s needs.
The Spirit Award was created to honor an inspiring professional in the field of older adult care who sets the bar for excellence in this work. The Spirit Award is given to those whose work goes beyond expertise and dedication to bring CMSS’s core values of dignity, respect, compassion, and equality to older adult care. Dr. DeBacker demonstrated these principles in his day-to-day work by mentoring staff, listening to residents, and ensuring that care addresses the emotional and social needs of residents, as well as their medical needs.
Due to the global pandemic and CMSS’s efforts to protect residents, staff, and our community, the inaugural Spirit Award was presented to Dr. DeBacker via a virtual celebration.