When beloved Winship nurse Julie Leff passed away in May, director of nursing, Kevin Schreffler, and his colleagues wanted to honor her legacy. Described by her peers as “calm, wise and the kind of person who always did more than asked of her,” Julie’s selfless heart not only touched her patients on a daily basis, but also her fellow team members, whom she continuously supported and inspired, even when she was undergoing her own cancer treatment.
“It is not often at Winship that we are faced with the loss of one of our own team members – who we often think of as our own family,” Schreffler says. “In those times, we all come together to support one another, offer comfort, and think of ways to honor the memory of the individual.”
To demonstrate the impact Julie had on those she worked with, Kevin and Julie’s closest peers got together and purchased a commemorative brick to go in Winship’s Vaughn-Jordan Healing Garden. “The Vaughn-Jordan Healing Garden is often where we reflect on those memories,” says Schreffler referring to memories with Julie. “The garden is truly a means of healing for patients, families and the whole Winship Team.”
Julie’s husband and daughters are also honoring her memory with a commemorative stone, and on Monday, October 28, the two new pavers were installed in the Garden.
Many people visiting Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University benefit from the beautiful and serene environment of the Vaughn-Jordan Healing Garden. What makes the space even more special are the personalized pavers that line the garden featuring names of donors, loved ones and friends of Winship. Each paver is tied to an incredible story. Some pavers honor the lost lives of people like Julie, while others recognize the special individuals within Winship who “pave the way” for our patients and their families each day.
There is still space left in the Vaughn-Jordan Healing Garden for more commemorative stone pavers. If you would like to honor a loved one with a personalized paver, or simply want more information, please visit our Healing Garden website, or call 404-712-9233.