Sonoma County fires ‘medical heroes’ honored

Neonatal physician Dr. Scott Witt, holding newborn Bryson Entwisle, helped to evacuate the Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as the Tubbs Fire closed in. Witt and his family lost their Fountaingrove home to the fire after evacuating. Entwisle was not one of the babies evacuated. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

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The Sonoma County Medical Association honored achievements of individual physicians and medical heroes of the October firestorm at its 33rd annual Awards Gala on Dec. 7.

The event, held at Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa, hosted more than 200 attendees and dignitaries who gathered to celebrate and recognize achievements of their physician colleagues. Dr. Peter Sybert, president of the association, acted as master of ceremonies.

After the October firestorm devastated much of Sonoma County, SCMA expanded its annual December event to a celebration inclusive of all physicians and their service, including medical heroes of the firestorm.

Physicians and medical staff at all levels continued to work and care for patients as the fires raged in early October, some even as their own homes were burning. The work continued for the next two weeks at hospitals, clinics, evacuation centers, and a multitude of medical facilities supporting patients throughout Sonoma and surrounding counties.

It is estimated that nearly 200 physicians and many more medical professionals lost their homes in the fires.

SMCA recognizes annually the work of physicians who demonstrate sustained, exemplary service. Awards are also given for Practice Manager of the Year, for contributions to SCMA’s quarterly magazine, Sonoma Medicine, and to a non-physician who made a significant contribution to the local medical community.