The 2013 South Loop Woman of the Year will be honored this Saturday, March 9 at the 1st Annual South Loop Women’s Tea. The Tea is at 3pm at 1550 S. State Street.
This year’s award goes to Gina Ferguson. Gina was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. She has been a nurse since 1992. Most of her career has been spent in the cardiac surgery intensive care unit. In 2005, she helped start the cardiac transplant program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Gina provides and coordinates care for patients after heart surgery in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, working closely with the cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists. She is also a member of the cardiac procurement team and coordinates the care for heart transplant patients in the inpatient setting.
Gina combines her physical health with changing the world, starting with her own friends and family. In 2008, Gina started being involved in the sport of triathlon. In 2012, she participated in Ironman Arizona. While being involved in this race, she raised money for the National Kidney Foundation. Her father, Dennis, has suffered from chronic kidney disease for over 10 years. In 2012, Gina lobbied on Capitol Hill with the National Kidney Foundation for extended Medicare for immunosuppressive drug coverage. Seven days after being on Capitol Hill, Gina donated her kidney to her father.
Gina was awarded the Donate Life Champion Award – an award given to athletes who have demonstrated remarkable support for organ, eye and tissue donation. She was one of only 9 recipients from Illinois, next to Charles Tillman and the Payton Family, to be presented this award at the Chicago Bulls February 28.
Gina has lived in the South Loop for over 7 years. She can be found training at Monkey Bar Gym in the South Loop. She also continues to volunteer her time with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and Donate Life America. She likes cooking, traveling, wine tasting, working out and spending time with family and friends.
Her favorite quote is “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”…something her mother, Carole, has taught her to follow. Gina continues to press her comfort zone. On March 18th, Gina will be traveling with other nurses to Rwanda to bring many needed supplies for both a nursing school and a hospital.