Filipina nurse in Illinois gets hospital’s Dr. MLK Jr. humanitarian award

/ 02:37 AM February 22, 2019

Nurse clinician Jennie Bagaconza (middle) received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for using her annual vacations for volunteer missions in countries like the Philippines and Guatemala.

WINFIELD, Illinois — Jennie Bagaconza, a Filipina American nurse clinician in the Bariatric Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, recently received the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.

The 40th annual award ceremony honored employees and physicians from across the Northwestern Medicine health system who best exemplify the ideals of Dr. King as shown by a positive impact in the community, reports


Bagaconza was recognized for rendering humanitarian aid in developing areas, including the Philippines, Bolivia, Guatemala and Africa.

Bagaconza saves her annual paid time off and money for volunteer medical missions. Bagaconza volunteers with the organization Poor Household of God.


“Being born in a third world country, I was born and raised in the Philippines, you see poor people, hungry people,” Bagaconza said in a news release. “I volunteered after graduating from nursing school in a local clinic before I came to the United States and it all evolved from there.”

Bagaconza also collects clothing and other goods to donate to orphanages in the Philippines.

“In 2011, I started my first mission trip to the Philippines. I did it for three years in the Philippines, then I extended,” she said. “If I’m going to help, I’m not only going to help people in the Philippines, I want to help other people, too. Every year, I’m thinking: Where do I go next?”

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TAGS: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, Filipina nurses, humanitarian work, Jennie Bagaconza, philanthropy, volunteer missions
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