Marinus H. Koning, MD, FACS

Founder + Board President

A native of the Netherlands, Marinus “Dick” Koning received his MD from the Free University of Amsterdam Medical School before moving to the United States to complete his surgical residency at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York City. As a young man, he had a keen interest in tropical medicine, so after his residency program in general surgery, Dr. Koning took a year off to visit tropical countries to gain firsthand knowledge about their medical practices. It was during his travels in Asia that Dr. Koning met his wife, Patricia. After returning to the US, the couple relocated to Central Oregon, where Dr. Koning practiced surgery, specializing in general, laparoscopic, trauma, and bariatric surgery. 

His story with ReachAnother begins after his retirement from his surgical practice in 2008 when he chose to pursue international humanitarian work and signed up with Medical Teams International. He was assigned to Ethiopia, as a volunteer consultant and surgeon at the Myungsung Christian Medical Center in Addis Ababa. He immediately invited his twin brother, Dr. Jan Koning,  a vascular surgeon in Delft, The Netherlands, to come and work with him.

Inspired by his Ethiopian experience and unwavering belief that quality healthcare is a basic human right, Dr. Koning founded ReachAnother Foundation in 2009 to address the high incidence of neural tube defects (spina bifida and hydrocephalus) impacting thousands of pregnancies in Ethiopia each year. The mission of ReachAnother is to increase access to healthcare and education for vulnerable populations in Ethiopia through training and capacity-building to create lasting change. Shortly after the founding of ReachAnother in the United States, Dr. Jan Koning founded ReachAnother Nederland, a sister foundation in the Netherlands. Together, they direct the overall mission and strategic multi-national approach to the work in Ethiopia, where their organization is known as “the NGO of the Twins”.

Since 2009, Dr. Koning has recruited more than 150 medical and educational professionals from across the globe to volunteer in Ethiopia and support ReachAnother’s growing programs. His never-ending passion and enthusiasm have expanded the focus of ReachAnother to look beyond surgical intervention to develop prevention initiatives, which will drastically decrease the number of babies born with devastating birth defects in Ethiopia.  

What are spina bifida and hydrocephalus?

Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth defects that affect a baby’s spine, spinal cord, or brain.

Normally, a fetus’ neural tube develops into their brain, spinal cord, and spinal column, but if a mother does not have sufficient folic acid in her diet during pregnancy the neural tube does not fully form or close completely.

Spina bifida, “open back,” occurs when the spine has failed to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Surgery is needed to close the defect immediately after birth to prevent infection and preserve the existing function in the spinal nerves. Approximately 90% of babies born with spina bifida are also impacted by hydrocephalus, “water on the brain.”

Babies born with hydrocephalus suffer a fluid build up in their brain, which causes an enlarged head and, if untreated, will cause brain damage and death. Treatment of hydrocephalus consists of implanting a shunt to drain the excess fluid. When treated in a timely fashion, the overwhelming majority of these babies can go on to lead healthy lives.

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“It was incredible to be able to volunteer in the hospital as a medical student and watch as the life of a child with hydrocephalus was forever changed. But it also gave me the chance to realize that giving a life to one child also means helping that child's mother, father, family and loved ones. It provides the community with hope to know that someone cares and is willing to help.”

Lacey Menkin MD

Orlando, Florida Medical Student

We are committed to

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

John Moseley, PHD

Board Member

John received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has received multiple awards for his research there, at SRI, and at UO. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the AAAs, is listed in Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology, in America, and in the World. He has participated at the National and International level in numerous scientific and educational committees and activities. At the local level, he has participated in a number of research, economic development, and arts related initiatives.

Dr. Moseley retired in 2006. He and his wife, Susan, live in Eugene, OR.
John has participated in visits to Ethiopia as a volunteer member of the ReachAnother Foundation team 2015 and 2017.

"My wife Susan and I first became interested in the work in Ethiopia through our friendship with Dick and Patricia. After attending a fund-raising dinner in Bend in 2012, my wife we hosted one in Eugene, and became increasingly involved, so when I was asked to join the Board in 2014 I was more than happy to do so. Participating with the team in Ethiopia in 2015 helped me to realize the effectiveness and potential of this effort, and I have appreciated the opportunity to help ever since."

We’re in it for the babies. For the families.
For Ethiopia. For the world.
We are dedicated to this work, our human family and to one another.
We are united to transform.
We are a catalyst for change.