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Honoring Dr. Tom

Yesterday we were saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Tom Tonniges, a supporter, board member and friend to all of us at Voices for Children.  Few people have contributed more to the health and well-being of Nebraska’s children than Dr. Tom.

In 2013, we presented Dr. Tom with our Lifetime Achievement Award, if you have a minute, please watch this video outlining what he has meant to so many of his patients, colleagues and those who knew him.  At the time, we wrote:

I won’t give you Dr. Tom Tonniges’ resume, his extensive list of accomplishments, because frankly—it is too long for a blog post.  What I will do is paint you a picture of who he is.  When Tom walks into a room, you know he is on a mission.  He greets you with a bright smile and doesn’t let you leave until he gives you your next task to improve this world.

If you are a single mother who is trying desperately to care for your child’s health needs, he will tell you exactly what to do to comfort and treat your child.

If you are a child separated from your parents and struggling to find your footing, he will help you find solid ground to stand on.

If you are a nonprofit executive director, he will ask “how are we doing?” and leave you with ideas, a check, and next steps to make your mission a reality.

If you are a policy maker, he will, in a not-so-shy way, tell you exactly what law you need to pass to help Nebraska’s kids.

If you were First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1993, he will advise you in no uncertain terms what children in this country need to grow up healthy and strong.

What I have learned from Dr. Tonniges is to never stop believing that outcomes can be improved and we can always do more.

Dr. Tom was a truly exceptional doctor, husband, parent, friend and mentor. He touched the lives of generations of patients, and left a lasting mark on the children he served, who will remember his compassion and work each day to make the world a better place.

Thank you to taking the time to share!

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