Business Press honors 2017 Health Care Heroes

Tori Pence sings to the crowd at the 2017 Health Care Heroes awards. 

The 2017 Health Care Heroes

It was time for standing ovations, music and more than a few teary-eyed moments as the Fort Worth Business Press honored the 2017 Health Care Heroes Wednesday night at the Fort Worth Club.

The 2017 Hope Award went to Sonny Burgess of Cook Children’s Medical Center, a musician who helps patients at the hospital record music as part of their therapy.

One of the patients, Tori Pence, sang a song she had written with Burgess during her long struggle against an illness while in the hospital.

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“Every time I think about it,” she sang, “I panic because I don’t want it to happen again.”

Speaking to the crowd, Pence said of Burgess: “To say he’s my hero is an understatement.”

Also bringing tears was the story of Fort Worth Police Officer Damon Cole, who in his spare time appears as superheroes to very ill children to bring them hope and joy.

There will be stories on all the Heroes in the Feb. 20 edition of the Fort Worth Business Press and more information and a video from the event on the Business Press website soon.

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For more information on the Health Care Heroes contact Lauren Vay at or 817-336-8300 x 100.

The annual Health Care Heroes Awards recognizes excellence in the medical community – excellence practiced by physicians, administrators and volunteers alike.

To see photos from the event, click here.

The honorees:

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2017 Hope Award – Sonny Burgess, Cook Children’s Health Care System

Debbie Boudreaux, Cook Children’s Teddy Bear Transport Team

Randy Brown, MD, Texas Family Medicine

Paul M. Celestin, John Peter Smith Hospital



George F. Cravens, MD, FAANS, FACS, The Center for Neurological Disorders

Damon Cole, Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer and Fort Worth Police Department

Joel Hunt, MPAS, PA-C, JPS Health Network

Ken Kirkham, DDS, Fossil Creek Dental Partners

Emily Lund, PhD, CCC-SLP Texas Christian University

Rick McAdoo, Ampcare LLC

Emily B. McLaughlin, MD, FACS, West Magnolia Plastic Surgery

Samir Nangia, MD, FASN, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Scott Perry, Cook Children’s Health Care System

O. David Taunton, Jr, MD, Texas Orthopedic Specialists, PLLC

Paul Thornton, MD, Cook Children’s Health Care System

Janice Womble, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Michael Thornsberry, MD, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth

Teresa Gonzalo, Vertess

The Platinum Sponsor of the event was Kelly, Hart and Hallman.

To view photos from the event:

To view a video on Sonny Burgess: