Dr. Sonya Bruton

Dr. Sonya Bruton is the winner of the 2023 Dr. Sheila C. Johnson Game Changer Award from the WNBA Washington Mystics. Dr. Bruton is a philanthropist and businesswoman who is the CEO & President of CCI Health Services.

Dr. Bruton worked as a Major Gifts fundraiser at The University of North Carolina in her twenties and was the only black fundraiser in the Development Office at the time. She successfully raised millions for all academic areas of campus by focusing on individual donors in the western part of the state during her 5-year tenure. During a two year period, she was given the charge of raising private dollars to build the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center on campus. She was assigned athletes and alumni living in Atlanta as prospects for the campaign, which was co-chaired by Deloris Jordan and Maya Angelou. Dr. Bruton not only helped raise the money needed to build the Center, but she also cultivated, educated, and empowered a generation of black philanthropists. Dr. Bruton has secured more than $5 million in one-time grant awards and approximately $1.5 million dollars of ongoing funding for this $3.9 million organization over the years.

As a businesswoman, Dr. Bruton is at the forefront of the nonprofit healthcare industry. As the CEO of CCI, she is pushing forward the organization’s mission to bring high-quality accessible healthcare to our region. After providing ongoing training rotations for OB/GYN, Dental, and Pediatric residents from Howard University, The University of Maryland, and Children’s National, Dr. Bruton set out to change medical education. CCI was accredited as a Sponsoring Institution by ACGME in June of 2023. This means that CCI can fully own, design, and operate a full residency for any specialty. She is starting with Family Medicine in July of 2024. This winter, CCI will fill a much-needed gap and open a location to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Dr. Bruton has supported emerging leaders as a mentor for more than twenty-years. She combines her Clinical Psychology skills with a 30-year career as a nonprofit executive to help people transform from their present state to the next level. More and more early career professionals, college students, and entrepreneurs were asking her to be their mentor, so at the beginning of this year she published a book, Finding Your Way in the Non-Profit Sector: Your Portable Mentor for Avoiding Pitfalls and Seizing Opportunities to extend her reach.

The Washington Mystics are recognizing woman who have blazed trails in their communities. Enjoy these recap photos of an amazing night honoring the first award winner of the Sheila C. Johnson Game Changer Award. This award signifies strength and impact in one’s community.

The Mystics honored CEO and President of CCI Health Services, Dr. Sonya Bruton for amazing work in the community and the way she has blazed the trail for women business owners.

Dr. Sonya Bruton makes her way to center court to receive her award from Sheila C. Johnson.

Sheila C. Johnson during the Mystics halftime Game Changer Ceremony ready to present the first recipient of this award.

2023 Sheila Johnson Game Changer Award Honorable Mentions

Sharron Rouse –

Sharron Rouse is the founder of Kindness for Kidneys International, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to educating, encouraging, and empowering kidney warriors and their families. With the community’s support, Kindness for Kidneys has gained national attention for their monthly support groups, kidney education program, and annual holiday drives. Each holiday season, the Kindness for Kidneys Holiday Drive serves over 500 kidney warriors by providing free meals, blankets and other necessary items for patients on dialysis.

Patty Medina-

Patty Medina started Hooper Mentality three years ago and since then, the organization has spread across the United States and Mexico. Hooper Mentality is an initiative that, through sports camps and clinics, provides resources in mental health training, life skills coaching, and leadership workshops for young athletes; as well as being a safe haven and outlet for athletes to share their stories. Hooper Mentality has partnered up with many organizations to host conferences for student-athletes, and worked with sports psychologists from local universities to provide pro-bono services to athletes and coaches in at-risk communities. 

About the Dr. Sheila C. Johnson Game Changer Award

This season, the Washington Mystics launched the Legacy campaign, dedicated to strong women who have always made the unthinkable possible, showing us that dreams that become reality require bravery. We call that Owning Your Legacy.

The inaugural Dr. Sheila C. Johnson Game Changer Award is named for Dr. Sheila Johnson, Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports and the only African American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: the Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and Washington Capitals. She is also the Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a company that operates luxury resorts around the world. In 2016, she spearheaded the formation of WE Capital, a venture capital consortium to support and invest in female-led enterprises with a goal of promoting social impact while generating financial returns.