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Bergsengs utilize their medical skills on mission trip

Pat and John Bergseng are shown at one of the tables set up in their makeshift clinic.

Retired Glencoe Regional Health Services (GRHS) surgeon John Bergseng and his wife, Pat Bergseng, a registered nurse, recently traveled to Rivas, Nicaragua, for a medical and dental mission trip organized through the Christian Medical and Dental Association’s (CMDA) Global Health Outreach program.
As a ministry of CMDA, Global Health Outreach sends 40 to 50 health-care teams around the world each year to provide health care to the poor and needy, share the gospel and help grow national churches.
“I retired in January this past year and I was looking for opportunities to volunteer some of my medical and surgical skill sets to those that normally would not get the care that is offered in the United States,” said John Bergseng. “Since I’m a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, I looked through that organization. I noticed there was one trip that was in the middle of August that had urgent needs for a nurse and a doctor so I looked into it and signed us up.”
There were 22 people on the team, including a minister, three physicians, four physician assistants, eight physician assistant students, two pharmacists, one physical therapist, one registered nurse and two logistical directors. They were assisted by a national doctor, two national dentists and two lab technicians.
The Bergsengs were pleasantly surprised to find out that a local doctor from Hutchinson Health, Dr. Albert Lira and his son, Pat, signed up for the trip, too. “We got to work with them quite closely and that was a lot of fun,” said John Bergseng.
Once they arrived, one of the local churches that partnered with the team had graciously converted their sanctuary into a make-shift clinic.
At the clinic, which was open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day, the team offered adult and pediatric care, ultrasounds, physical therapy, joint injections, dental fillings and extractions, eye glasses and medication. Five minor surgeries also were performed during their stay, which were made possible by a suitcase full of supplies that GRHS donated for the Bergsengs’ trip.
“We saw 545 patients altogether and the dentist saw about 160 patients,” said John Bergseng.
For more about the Bergsengs' mission trip, see the Oct. 4 print edition of The Chronicle.