ICSF says goodbye to a founding board member
By Dr. Geoffrey Williams, ICSF President
ICSF suffered a great loss on October 1, 2012, with the untimely death of Board of Directors member Dr. Michael Jensen. Dr. Jensen was a long-time and trusted friend of mine and was the first person I called upon when choosing ICSF’s initial Board of Directors in 2005.
Mike was an easy pick for me, as I had come to trust him implicitly over the years of our friendship. I came to fully know of Mike’s heart for the less fortunate on a medical mission together to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2004. Mike and I had just finished our first day of initial scheduling of surgeries. As we were standing outside the ward of patients, a young mother left the ward and passed us as we were talking in the hall. The woman had slung her baby, who had a cleft lip, over her back in a blanket, an obvious sign that they were leaving. We called out to her, curious as to why she was leaving. She answered that she didn’t have the $70 USD that the hospital had charged her, and therefore she was going home.
This was my first awareness that the hospital was charging even the poorest of folks a fee. As I stammered, Mike pulled out his wallet. A big smile came to his face and he said, “We can solve this problem right now!” He handed the woman a $100 bill, enough for the hospital fee and then some, and said, “Your baby’s going to get his surgery!” Mike’s ability to organize and troubleshoot was indispensible and was a great factor in the success of a number of ICSF’s surgical missions
Mike was born August 17, 1957, in Logan, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University and then the University of Utah School of Medicine and served an internship in pediatrics, also at the University of Utah.
In his medical practice Mike gained a reputation as one who viewed his work as a calling rather than a job. In many cases he paid personally for his patients who could not afford the fee charged by the clinic where he worked. Mike’s long-term goal was to someday serve fulltime for the rest of his life for ICSF.
ICSF mourns the loss of Mike. I personally mourn the loss of Mike’s friendship and support. His memory will forever inspire me to carry the humanitarian attitude he so profoundly epitomized.
Goodbye, Dr. Mike. I and ICSF will always miss you.