Marinus H. Koning, MD, FACS
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.
Our beloved founder and friend, Dr. Dick Koning dedicated his life to helping others.
Today the nonprofit that he founded is on the threshold of solving the hydrocephalus and spina bifida crisis in Ethiopia through treatment, aftercare and a prevention solution that will have a global impact. Tens of thousands of children now have a chance for a brighter future.
We have organized the
Dr. Koning’s Creating Futures Campaign
to amplify Dick’s legacy and give our community the opportunity to contribute to his impactful work and his vision of a brighter future for children and families affected by neural tube defects.
Read Dr. Koning’s obituary