Darcie Peacock: A Career in Elevating Pediatric Healthcare
Women in Business
Solace Pediatric HealthCare
Established in 2005, Solace Pediatric HealthCare is the leading provider of pediatric nursing, family caregiving, and occupational, physical, speech and feeding therapy services. On the mission to help children and families live their best lives, the Solace environment is best suited for children from birth all the way to 21 years of age.
Darcie Peacock has been a part of the Solace since 2012. Initially hired as an administrator, she now holds the post of CEO, driving the organization’s growth efforts. She shares, “Solace is different from other providers in the field because we focus everything we do on our team. We invest in technology to streamline processes, we created clinical teams to provide enhanced networking and support, and we have a car program as an investment in our clinicians’ mobile office.”
“The Disney Experience”
Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare was established by Mike Billinghurst, an experienced occupational therapist serving people of all ages. He wanted Solace to be something special, creating an organization that exists to elevate pediatric health from a clinical and a parent’s point of view. Helping families and children achieve their best lives, not only does Solace provide the highest quality services but it also prides itself on its gold standards in customer service for families and clinicians.
“Our focus on “The Disney Experience” for our families and for our team members is unparalleled in pediatric home healthcare today,” states Darcie. An organization led by clinicians; Solace is structured to remove as many administrative burdens as possible to allow clinicians to do what they do best – serve the families. Driven by a streamlined and organized system, clinicians are able to devote their full energy and attention to the children and not worry about administrative tasks. An exceptional administrative team takes care of those.
An ACHC-accredited company, Solace continuously demonstrates its commitment to quality, positive patient outcomes, and safety. Based out of Denver Colorado, today Solace provides a range of in-home and clinic-based therapy services in Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon, offers family caregiver services in Colorado, and school-based services in Oregon, Washington, California, and Wyoming.
"A great leader is someone who spends time building relationships with their people, puts the needs of the organization ahead of their own and is not afraid to make hard decisions."
Working closely with the Whole Family
A key part of the Solace organization for more than a decade, Darcie leads the company’s vision to provide safe, timely, and comprehensive family care and ensure the most successful outcomes. Her commitment to connecting children and families with individualized, meaningful resources began as a social worker for child protective services back in 2004.
“I adored getting to work closely with the whole family and felt that being in the community allowed me to make a greater impact,” shares Darcie. “After I went back to school to get my masters in Occupational Therapy, I knew I wanted to work in pediatrics in the community, with the entire family unit. Home Health is an incredible place to do that.”
Shortly after entering the field of home health as a clinician, Darcie recognized her proficiency in operations and strategic planning. She also realized that a sharper focus on customer experience could substantially improve the quality and inherent value of an organization and began implementing it in her own functions.
When she first joined Solace, Darcie had a team of 35 employees. Although her primary role was to place new referrals, Peacock came with a host of previous experience and took on multiple tasks such as managing payroll, posting payments, calling for orders, and faxing plans of care. “We were a small team and I had an opportunity to learn all angles of the business as we were growing. Over the years as the organization continued to grow so did my role. I took over as CEO in 2018 and in 2021 we began expanding service lines and our geographical footprint.”
Darcie remembers never really wanting to be a CEO. She spent her workdays learning new things, overcoming new challenges, and implementing new ways of functioning. Over time, however, Darcie hit a glass ceiling and decided that it was time for a change. She knew that she was going to need fresh challenges.
Darcie shares, “I didn’t really have many promotions along the way I just continued to take on more and more responsibility. When the opportunity presented itself to me to become CEO, if I’m being honest, I didn’t know if I would be able to make the transition.”
Looking around her today though, she feels grateful to get the opportunity to work with a great team that supports her all the way. As CEO, she never loses focus on her employees and ensures a happy and satisfying work environment for them. “One simple thing I do that helps me in my position tremendously is to prioritize meeting with and being accessible to my entire organization,” she shares.
Each month, Darcie brings her team together by holding small group virtual coffee dates with her staff. These dates create an informal connection for the team to meet her, see that she is a real person, ask questions, give feedback or discuss anything of concern.
A Resolute Leader
For Darcie, her leadership journey has just begun. Evolving from a hands-on caregiver to the CEO of a multifaceted organization, Darcie believes that a great leader is someone who is able to articulate their vision and influence others. “A great leader is someone who spends time building relationships with their people, puts the needs of the organization ahead of their own and is not afraid to make hard decisions,” she opines.
Darcie’s greatest career achievement as a figurehead was notably during Covid when the world was shutting down. This had caused immense pressure, especially on caregiving organizations such as Solace. Quickly turning into a work-from-home organization, Darcie drove Solace’s transformation efforts never losing sight of the needs of any of the families, and continued to deliver exceptional pediatric services.
“I pulled all of our clinicians out of the field to do telehealth and my administrative team went home to work remotely. We leaned into telehealth, worked as a team, got creative and everyone rallied around our mission. I didn’t have to cut pay or lay a single person off during that time. Keeping my team safe, healthy, and employed during that time meant the world to me.”
Today, a typical day for Darcie could extend from a work-from-home to a travel meeting. While the days at home are filled with virtual calls and emails, when traveling she enjoys meeting with leaders within the company and potential business partners for expansion. She looks forward to looking under the hood at other businesses and seeing how they tackle challenges.
Into the Future
A revered business leader, Darcie’s advice to others on the same path as she is that everyone must walk in the shoes of their front-line team’s shoes. “We have very passionate, smart teammates, and spending time talking to them and walking their daily life will guide you,” states she.
Looking ahead, Darcie and her team of experts continue to raise pediatric healthcare, innovating and challenging the status quo on a regular basis. Her personal vision for Solace is to be admired for the quality of their services, the kindness of the people, and the integrity and innovation of their work. “The end result is more children and families will receive better care and more clinicians will have the opportunity to work in an organization where they can thrive.”