The Medical Mission
Richard Bransford, MD
Millie Bransford

Richard Bransford, MDThe Bransfords have touched the lives of thousands of children with disabilities in some of the world’s most disadvantaged regions. After participating in an academic undergraduate educational program at Compton College in California, the young doctor-to-be enrolled at UCLA. After receiving a degree of bachelor of science in physics from UCLA, Dick embarked in earnest on his medical career. He headed east to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In addition to making an excellent medical school choice, he met and married Millie, his lifelong partner to be. After graduating from Johns Hopkins in 1967 and completing his residency program and a tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force, the Bransford family traveled to Switzerland to join AIM International.

In further preparation for a medical missionary career, while in Europe, Dr. Bransford received a degree in tropical medicine. With that degree in hand, the Bransford family continued their dedicated quest to improve the human condition of their brothers and sisters throughout the world. This quest has remained a central purpose and a motivating force in their lives for over three decades.

Dr. Bransford began work as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoro Islands. From 1978 to 1998 the Bransford team served at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. While working in Kenya, Dick and Mille helped found Bethany Crippled Children’s Centre in Kijabe. Compelled by a burning desire to further improve the lives of surgery deprived African children, they went on to co-found Bethany Relief and Rehabilitation International. This organization is now known as BethanyKids. Currently, the organization endeavors to transform the lives of African children with life-threatening surgical conditions and disabilities through pediatric surgery, rehabilitation, public education, spiritual ministry and the training of health-care professionals. Today, the BethanyKids organization has grown to assume responsibility for all children’s services at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya and is the only accredited hospital in East Africa for pediatric surgeons.

The Bransfords’ dedicated and compassionate concern for all of God’s children as medical missionaries has defined their meaningful life’s career choices. In recognition of his outstanding pediatric surgical contributions, Dick was awarded AMA’s Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine and the ACS Surgical Humanitarian Award. Today, their medical mission service continues as they travel throughout Africa providing compassionate care and disseminating God’s message of love. When discussing the humanitarian organizations with which the family has had the opportunity to serve their fellow man, Dr. Bransford said, “Each was birthed with a view to glorify God, most through the compassionate care of children and their families. Each has borne fruit for eternity. I have no doubt that each was placed in God’s hands and each was guided carefully by Him.”

The Bransfords have seven children and reside in Venice, Florida. The Medical Mission Hall of Fame of The University of Toledo is proud to honor the Bransford family in the class of 2014.