North Texas county judges named the 2021 recipients of DFWHC’s Annual Distinguished Health Service Award


The DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) announced today the 2021 recipients of its annual awards with 17 North Texas county judges to receive the Distinguished Health Service Award; Christopher McLarty, associate vice president and chief nursing officer, ambulatory services at UT Southwestern Medical Center, named the Young Healthcare Executive of the Year; and three board members at Baylor Scott & White Health, Parkland Health & Hospital System and Texas Health Resources, selected as the Kerney Laday, Sr. Trustees of the Year.

The awards are traditionally presented each fall during DFWHC’s Annual Awards Luncheon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person event was cancelled for public health reasons. A virtual event honoring the recipients will be broadcast on October 20, 2021, at 12 noon.

Since 1948, DFWHC’s Distinguished Health Service Award has been bestowed annually to North Texas residents who have dedicated their lives to improving healthcare. The DFWHC Board of Trustees decided to change tradition this year and recognize 17 county judges and their dedicated public health executives in North Texas for their tremendous support of hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17-county area represents all of DFWHC’s hospital membership. The recipients include:

• Hon. Chris Hill of Collin County;
• Hon. Clay Jenkins of Dallas County;
• Hon. Andy Eads of Denton County;
• Hon. Todd Little of Ellis County;
• Hon. Ronald Massingill of Hood County;
• Hon. Bobby Stovall of Hunt County;
• Hon. Roger Harmon of Johnson County;
• Hon. Hal Richards of Kaufman County;
• Hon. Pat Deen of Parker County;
• Hon. David Sweet of Rockwall County;
• Hon. Danny Chambers of Somervell County;
• Hon. Glen Whitley of Tarrant County;
• Hon. Alfonso Campos of Erath County;
• Hon. H.M. Davenport, Jr. of Navarro County;
• Hon. Shane Long of Palo Pinto County;
• Hon. Bill Magers of Grayson County;
• Hon. Nathaniel Moran of Smith County.

“It has been such an unusual and difficult year due to the pandemic,” said Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC. “Our North Texas hospitals were provided tremendous support by our county judges and their public health teams. Their tireless work in creating awareness of the virus and supporting vaccination public health measures have been crucial in the communities they serve. Their dedicated work has saved lives and their leadership set an example for all of us to follow.”

The Young Healthcare Executive of the Year Award honors youthful professionals who display the impressive abilities of future North Texas leaders. Created in 2005, nominees must be 40 years of age or younger and employed by a DFWHC-member hospital. This year’s recipient Christopher McLarty has served as associate vice president and chief nursing officer, ambulatory services at UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2019. He played a lead role during the pandemic at his hospital’s command center and represented ambulatory operations while providing advice on the proper COVID-19 response. His diverse experience as a nurse and executive were crucial over the past year.

The Trustee of the Year honor was named in memory of Kerney Laday, Sr., who served on the Texas Health Resources Board for a decade. The award was created in 2013 to honor trustees who have displayed excellence throughout their careers. This year’s recipients include Ross McKnight of Baylor Scott & White Health; Dr. Paula Dobbs-Wiggins of Parkland Health & Hospital System; and James Young Wynne of Texas Health Resources.

McKnight is the former chairman of the board of trustees of Baylor Scott & White Holdings and has served on the board since its founding in 2013. He previously served for 11 years as a member of the Scott & White Healthcare Board of Trustees, the governing body of one of the health system’s founding organizations.

Dobbs-Wiggins was named to the Parkland Board of Managers in 2013 as an at-large appointee by the Dallas County Commissioners Court. She has served on various Board committees and was selected by her fellow Board members to the offices of secretary in 2016 and vice chair in 2018. She was unanimously chosen by her peers to serve as chair in 2019.

Wynne has served Texas Health Resources in volunteer leadership roles since 1988, holding positions throughout the system, from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman Board of Trustees to the Texas Health Resources Board. He has been a member of the Texas Health Resources Board of Trustees since 2014.

“With these awards, we are proud to acknowledge the extraordinary community leadership of Christopher McLarty, Ross McKnight, Dr. Paula Dobbs-Wiggins and James Young Wynne who have dedicated their careers to our community’s health and well-being. We are grateful to recognize their contributions.”

The virtual event honoring the award recipients will be sponsored in part by Hall Render and BKD, LLP.