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Doctors Without Borders to be inducted into Medical Mission Hall of Fame

Doctors Without Borders USA and two couples who have dedicated their lives to helping those in medical need are members of the 12th class that will be inducted into The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ Medical Mission Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 22.

The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000B on UT’s Health Science Campus.

Dr. Deane Marchbein, president of Doctors Without Borders USA, will accept the honor on behalf of the organization.


“Every day, Doctors Without Borders bears witness to the extraordinary efforts that ordinary people are making to access medical care in crisis zones around the world,” Marchbein said. “I hope to shed light on the challenges our patients face in often-overlooked places, such as Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.”

In 2012, she was elected president of the board of directors for the international organization that provides health care and medical training in war-torn and impoverished countries.

“I went to medical school with the idea that I wanted to do international medicine, but it took years before I was at a point in my life and career where I could do it,” Marchbein said. “I’ve now had the privilege of going on 12 missions with Doctors Without Borders, and I can say it is a great way to share our humanity and help people who would not otherwise have access to medical care.”

In 1971, Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, was founded in Paris. The organization was established with the “belief that all people have the right to medical care regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries,” according to

Since then, Doctors Without Borders has cared for millions, including more than 8 million in its medical facilities in 2012, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

“The award of this prestigious international prize inspired individuals, organizations and academic institutions, including The University of Toledo, which created the Medical Mission Hall of Fame,” Dr. Ron McGinnis, interim dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said. “The Medical Mission Hall of Fame endeavors to honor the tremendous work and achievements of Doctors Without Borders.”

Also being inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame this year are Dr. Richard Bransford and Millie Bransford, and Dr. Pedro “Pete” J. Obregon II and Judith Obregon.

Dedicated to improving the human condition, Dr. Richard Bransford worked as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoro Islands. From 1978 to 1998, Richard and Millie served at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. While there, the couple helped found Bethany Crippled Children’s Centre in Kijabe and co-founded the Bethany Relief and Rehabilitation International, which is known as BethanyKids. Today, BethanyKids works to transform the lives of African children with life-threatening conditions and disabilities through pediatric surgery, rehabilitation, public education, spiritual ministry, and the training of health-care professionals.

Dr. Pete Obregon had a private practice in Point Pleasant, W.Va., and later in Columbus, Ohio. While Pete and Judith started two homeless clinics in Columbus, they were dedicated to care for the underserved medical and surgical needs of the poor in the Third World. In 1993, Pete was appointed medical director for the Medical Ministry International for Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. He left private practice to work full time for the organization. Since making that life-transforming decision, Pete and Judith have taken 134 medical and surgical teams to 39 countries. Judith has served as project director for many of the missions, and she has taught respiratory therapy techniques to nurses.

And Dr. Kristopher Brickman, chief of staff of UT Medical Center and professor and chair of the UT Department of Emergency Medicine, will receive the Lawrence V. Conway Lifetime Distinguished Service Award.

He joined the former Medical College of Ohio in 1992 and is the founder and director of the Office of Global Health in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. In 2010, Brickman went on a medical mission trip to Haiti that changed his life. Since then, he has returned to Haiti 10 times and participated in 20 medical missions.

Conway, UT professor emeritus of finance, founded the Medical Mission Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to advancing the medical well-being of people around the world. In 2006, the Medical Mission Hall of Fame became affiliated with the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. The hall of fame can be seen in the lobby of the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

RSVPs are requested for the free, public event by Monday, March 17: Call 419.530.2586 or 1.800.235.6766. For more information, email

(Click names to download photographs of Medical Mission Hall of Fame inductees)

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 21, 2014)
The Blade (March 27, 2014)
The Blade (March 27, 2014)


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