Jessica Long to serve as keynote speaker at DFWHC’s Oct. 21 Annual Awards Luncheon


The DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) has announced Jessica Long will serve as the keynote speaker during its 74th Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 21, 2022, at the Irving Convention Center.

One of America’s most decorated Paralympic champions, Jessica was born in Siberia, the daughter of unwed teenagers. Burdened by congenital defects in her legs, she was placed for adoption at 13 months old. Jessica’s legs were amputated below the knee due to a rare bone disorder. She was adopted by American parents to eventually become one of the most decorated female athletes in U.S. history.

“We were thrilled to see Jessica was available to speak at our luncheon,” said Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC. “Her story is so inspirational and during these difficult times, her message is an important one.”

Learning to walk with prostheses, Jessica would participate in many sports at a young age including gymnastics, ice skating and biking. She learned how to swim in her grandparents’ pool and would eventually join her first competitive swim team at 10 years of age.

Jessica’s first international competition was the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games when, at 12 years old, she was the youngest athlete on the U.S. Swim Team. She went on to become a three-time (2007, 2012, 2013) recipient of the ESPN Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award and was named to the Sports Illustrated “The World’s Best Female Athletes” list.

To date, Jessica has competed at five Paralympic Games, winning 29 medals, 16 of them gold. During her athletic career, she has won 52 world championship medals.

Jessica’s life served as the inspiration of the now-famous 2021 Super Bowl commercial, which highlights her deep connections to her family. The commercial can be viewed here.

During the luncheon, DFWHC will present the Distinguished Health Service Award to Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson; the Young Healthcare Executive of the Year Award to Patrick Brown, vice president of operations at Methodist Charlton Medical Center; and the Kerney Laday, Sr. Trustee of the Year Award to Dorothy DeBose, chair of the board of managers at JPS Health Network. The Chairs of the Boards of Trustees of all DFWHC-member hospitals will also be introduced on stage to open the program.

The awards luncheon will be sponsored in part by Hall Render and Forvis.

Sponsorships are now available.

Hospital Sponsorships can be found here.

Non-Hospital Executive Sponsorships can be found here.

Tables and tickets will go on sale next week. Please note this year for safety reasons tables will seat a total of eight people only.

For information, please contact Chris Wilson at