Olga Jonasson Community

Physician House Advising Faculty

Dr. Marci Laragh

Dr. Marci Laragh has been a Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and academic Hospitalist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center since 2013 after completing medical school at New York University (NYU) and Internal Medicine Residency and Chief Residency at UIC.  Her research and advocacy interests include anti-racism, quality improvement, interesting clinical case reports, and medical education with a focus on bedside teaching and formative feedback.  She is an active member of the Jesse Brown for Black Lives (JB4BL) clinical committee, whose mission is to advance anti-racist education and practices at the VA.  One of the most rewarding part of her career is her involvement with clinical education and mentorship.  She serves at the UIC Internal Medicine Clinical Clerkship co-director at the Jesse Brown VAMC and as core teaching faculty in the UIC Internal Medicine residency program.

Dr. Gina Walton

Dr. Walton is a graduate of the UICOM and serves as the VP of Medical Diversity & Inclusion and the Associate Designated Institutional Official for Graduate Medical Education for Sinai Chicago. Dr. Walton is a physiatrist and serves her community through her outpatient Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation clinic at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital at Sinai Chicago. Additionally, Dr. Walton is responsible for assisting in the support and accreditation of the five residency programs sponsored by Sinai Chicago. Dr. Walton’s pronouns are she/her/ella. Dr. Walton is passionate about improving patient health outcomes through recruitment aimed at increasing physician-patient concordance to ensure that the community is being served by talented clinicians that are equally passionate about serving underserved populations. By building on her experience as an advocate for African American and Hispanic communities in Chicago, Dr. Walton continues to expand her knowledge and seek opportunities to grow her advocacy and support for the LGBTQ+ community, as well. Dr. Walton has extensive experience in coaching and mentoring and is fulfilled by empowering her family, friends, patients, and students with support and tools that help them better participate in their health, growth, and development.

Olga Jonasson, MD (1934-2006)

Dr. Olga Jonasson was born in Peoria, Illinois to parents of Swedish immigrants. As a youngster, Jonasson was influenced by witnessing the work of her mother, a nurse, and her father, a pastor, in caring for the sick. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 1956 at Northwestern, and her medical degree at University of Illinois in 1958. When Jonasson decided to apply for a surgical residency, there were very few women practicing in this area. She completed residency in 1964, followed by three fellowships, one of which was at Massachusetts General Hospital in transplantation immunobiology. She joined the faculty of University of Illinois in 1967, where she developed the Division of Transplantation.Throughout her career, she served as a mentor and role-model for young female surgeons. In 1993, she became the Medical Director of the Education and Surgical Services Department of the American College of Surgeons, the first female surgeon to do so.


1968- Dr. Jonasson performed the first kidney transplant in Illinois

1976- Dr. Jonasson was named the first woman to serve on the American College of Surgery Board of Regents

1977- Dr. Jonasson was named the new Chief of Surgery at Cook County Hospital

1983- Dr. Jonasson chaired the national task force that issued a White Paper which provided broad guidelines for implementation of the newly passed National Organ Transplant Act

2006- The Association of Women Surgeons renamed their Distinguished Member Award the Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award

Full Bio