The Greensboro Symphony Guild presented Shawn Houck with the prestigious Barbara Cone Award for 2020. The Barbara Cone Award was established in 1984 by the Guild’s Board of Directors to honor an individual for distinguished service in the advancement of music in the Greensboro community and for the promotion of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.
As a registered nurse and past healthcare marketing communications manager, Houck has refocused her career to include healthcare education and professional development for coordinating workforce development at the regional, state and national levels. She currently is coordinator of regional education for Greensboro Area Health Education Center (GAHEC), which is part of the North Carolina AHEC system and is partnered regionally with Cone Health and eight counties in the surrounding area. Houck has served long term on staff with Cone Health as a clinician in family medicine/community health and in marketing and public relations previous to joining GAHEC. She continues serving both organizations as historical liaison for the Cone family and Cone Mills archives, along with the Cone sisters’ art collection. Over her tenure, she has worked to build partnerships among communities, healthcare providers and businesses to facilitate collaboration to improve health in this region. She is currently serving on the National AHEC Organization (NAO) board of directors and is chair of communications, serving a network of more than 300 AHEC centers/offices across 45 states.
Houck is committed to the power of music as a healing entity. Over the years, she has collaborated on a variety of music programming in the community. She developed and works closely with the CaringSound music wellness program, a therapeutic program for children hospitalized at the Moses Cone Hospital Pediatrics Department in partnership with the Greensboro Symphony, Cone Health and the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation. CaringSound blends the arts and sciences through integrative music therapy for healthcare support. It has expanded to providing programs at Well Spring for their memory care unit. Houck shared that the program aligns with the direction of the Sound Health initiative of the National Institute of Health to improve health and wellness through music. Houck has been a board member of the Greensboro Symphony for ten years. She is currently serving a second term as secretary on the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Committee. She has served with the Eastern Music Festival Gala Advisory Committee and was awarded the Arts in Business Award for Cone Health sponsored by the United Arts Council and Greensboro Merchants Association in 2009.