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Published on March 06, 2018

A. Erik Gundersen, MD, and Sophia Ferris

King and Queen of the Emerald Ball

Honoring A. Erik Gundersen, MD, and Sophia Ferris

Before A. Erik Gundersen, MD, (affectionately known as Dr. Erik) joined Gundersen in 1964, pediatric surgery was virtually unheard of outside of large city hospitals. But after years of specialized training, Dr. Erik was determined to bring specialty surgery to our area, especially in the care of children.

"I'm proud of the fact that I was in the right place at the right time to start specialty care here. I did a lot of things for the first time in pediatric surgery, such as heart surgery, to help us grow. I'm glad I had the courage to take this on," Dr. Erik explains.

It's for this courage, determination and visionary thinking to bring specialty care to children in our area that Dr. Erik was selected to be king of the 10th annual Emerald Ball on April 6 in celebration of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals®. Joining him as queen is his wife, Sophia Ferris.

"I was here to witness the advent of CMN Hospitals at Gundersen," recalls Dr. Erik. "They have helped a lot of children and families in the area. In addition, the Foundation and CMN Hospitals were major contributors to the new Gundersen hospital, including funding for important life-saving equipment."

Although Dr. Erik retired as a practicing doctor and surgeon in 2000, there were still things he wanted to do at Gundersen Medical Foundation. There, he has been a driving force, especially in advocating and fundraising for CMN Hospitals. "Fundraising is a big part of what I do because money is necessary to move medicine forward. Whenever they ask me to help, I'm willing to do my part," Dr. Erik says modestly.

Dr. Erik and Sophia are long-time supporters of the Foundation, including CMN Hospitals. Their generosity continues to this day.

Join them, and the 2017-2018 CMN Hospital Heroes, at the Emerald Ball on Friday, April 6. The ball will be held at the Cargill Room, 328 Front St., in La Crosse. Reservations are just $45 each or $360 for a table of eight, with proceeds benefitting CMN Hospitals, a service of Gundersen Medical Foundation. All of the funds raised stay local to help children, no matter what their illness or injury or where they receive their care.

To make your reservation, register online or call (608) 775- 4424.

Please reserve your tickets by March 28. If you are unable to attend the ball but would like to make a donation, make a gift online.

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