Detailed History

 History of the Medical Services in Finschhafen
Mr. Tepping Maikeo in June 2011


 I have been living in Finschhafen in a village near Butaweng for all my life and the Braun Memorial has always been a mean concern of mine. Realising that much of the knowledge about the history of the medical Services in the Finschhafen District is been lost and there is no written story of the services from their beginnings, I decided to collect all available written reports and stories of the various periods and put them together to have an overview of the changes since the beginnings in 1911. I would like to thank all those that helped and encouraged me during my researches and writing. I say thank you for those hardworking doctors, nurses and others taking part in the health care program and improvement of this hospital and the health services to the people of Finschhafen. I also apologise to those whose names are not mentioned in this book.

The hospitals

Dari Hospital 1921 - 1932
Heldsbach Hospital 1915, currently still functioning as aid post
Immanuel Hospital 1911 -1923??
Kakoko Hospital 1932   - 1942
Buangi Hospital (former American military hospital) 1946 - 1972
Butaweng: Braun Health Centre
1958 - 1974 (Chest Hospital),
 1974 - 1997 (General Hospital)


In the year 1903 the German New Guinea Company took over the land reaching from Butaweng to Gagidu station, and stated it as section 275.
In 1913 the German New Guinea Company transferred this land, (section 275) to the Lutheran Church - Bavaria. 

Missionary Johann StoesselI from Germany had had some medical training prior to his coming to New Guinea in 1911, and was said to have been the first male nurse. At Butaweng, Finschhafen, he set up the Immanuel Hospital, where he continued to work until 1922. Although an ordained  missionary, he gave a great deal of his time to medical work. His knowledge and advice were widely sought; he performed  numerous operations and his work was held in high regard. He seems to have had the confidence of people from both the Jabem and Kate areas. 

Sister Ida Voss, a trained deaconess and nurse, arrived from USA in 1921. She worked at setting up a new hospital at Dari, at Finschhafen Harbour, opposite Madang Island. Later, she worked at various outstation bush hospitals until marrying Victor Koschade in 1924. 
After the two mission fields had been without a trained doctor for 23 years, the lower Synod in America sent Dr A.B. Estock to Immanuel Hospital in 1923. He was already an experienced missionary from Africa. The intention was to send a physician to New Guinea for the benefit of the mission personnel; in the course of time medical work should be extended to the natives. However, because of his age, Dr. Estock had difficulties in adjusting, and left the field in 1926 after three of five years at Dari. The people distrusted him (as well as all the while man's medical abilities), the fear of losing 'soul matter' been too deep-rooted.

Sophie Desguisne from USA first came out in 1923 to care for a number of sick mission staff on Karkar Island and Sattelberg. While on furlough, she took a nursing course, and then returned to be Dr Braun's assistant at Finschhafen until she married Stephan Lehner in 1933. 

Also from the USA was Sister Hattie Engeling, a trained nurse and midwife. After her arrival in 1924, she worked first in Finschhafen, and later at Amele, Madang, She married Dr T. G. Braun, and together they gave many years of service to the people of Papua New Guinea. 

I n 1928, Sister Gretchen Tamminga, a nurse from Germany; came to the field via the USA. She had two male orderlies in training, and it was she who stated in reports that the local people were losing their fear of hospitals as a place where people would only die. However, many still came to the hospital only after their own medicines had failed. She also had good contact with the medical tululs in the villages and considered that they were doing their best. 

Dora Flierl, the daughter of Johann Flierl, born in Simbang in 1890, took a nursing course in Adelaide before beginning her work at the Heldsbach hospital in 1927. Mairupe Ngami was the first full-time medical orderly who worked with Dora, helping her to keep records.   

Concerned for the sick mission personnel on the field, the Neuendettelsauer Board send out Sister Helene Moll in 1927. She is noted for the extensive travelling she did from station to station. Returning after World War II, she worked mainly in the laboratory at Buangi hospital at Finschhafen. A further arrival from Germany, in 1929, was Sister Sophie Bezler. Trained in dentistry, she worked at Kalasa and later in Finschhafen. 

Dr Braun arrived in Madang on his twenty sixth birthday, March 29th, 1930. 

When Dr Braun was posted to Finschhafen, he found the existing hospital inadequate, and reported this to his home church. Money for a new building was raised by the women of the American Lutheran Church and two Australian carpenters build Kakoko, the new hospital on a small hill near Finschhafen Harbour, which was dedicated on December 18th, 1932. The following year, Hertha Keysser, Christian Keysser’s daughter, (who had been born at Sattelberg), returned to New Guinea as a trained nurse. She worked at Kakoko until she married Wilhelm Fugmann in 1935. Thereafter, together with him she continued to serve the church until retirement in 1972. During Dr Braun’s first year, an influenza epidemic swept through country. In his area alone, Dr Braun recorded 1500 to 1600 deaths. 

Dr. Theodore Braun 1959/60

Dr. Braun and the Mission Conference soon came to the conclusion that medical work would only be beneficial if the Christian congregations would be part of it. This meant training of indigenous workers and the payment would need to come from the congregations. The aim was that the church itself would take over the work and continue it.
When Dr. Braun and Sister Hattie Engelling were married in 1932, they pursed this common ambition.

Dr.  Braun was sent to Madang, and Dr Martha Koller from Germany (1933-­1938) took over the hospital at Finschhafen. 

Dr. Koller was a very lively and active women doctor, who made many trips throughout the mission field - mostly on horseback, since there were no other means of transport at that time. After Dr. Koller, left, Dr Alfred Stuerzenhofer (1937 -1940), also from Germany, took over the care at Kakoko. He likewise had the responsibility of looking after a mission field extending from Mt Hagen to Morobe, and from Ulap to Mumeng. Other doctors made every effort to train medical assistants. Men like Zozingfgao from the Mape area and Jambungnu from Kalsa, to name only two out of dozens who were trained and served their congregations for many years. 

When Dr Braun went to the Madang mission field, the Lutheran women of America again raised money to build a hospital. This second hospital, erected at Amele, 24km from Madang, it was dedicated in 1935. There Dr. and Mrs Braun immediately began to train medical orderlies. In June 1934, Dr Braun was one of the six missionaries who made an exploratory expedition into too Highlands, where he found neither tuberculosis nor malaria. 

Sisters, Emma Blum and HiIda Hauert from America, together with Frieda
Klotzbuecher from Australia arrived in 1935 to help with the growing medical work.
            Bruder Karl Kirsch, a deacon from Neuendettelsau, trained in nursing and in dentistry, came in 1932 and began work at Kakoko, Concerning these early days, he related the following;
We were able to begin our work in Papua New Guinea when heathendom was still very strong. But especially in our medical work we could notice on the one hand the inner freedom received from the gospel and on the other hand the great fear of evil and death. The sick did not want to come to hospital. We had to go to the villages to see them and win their confidence. The first years were mainly taken up with gaining people's confidence. Slowly more people came to hospital. But, if someone died, the hospital was empty again the next day, and we started all over again. Soon we took three young men, two Heldsbach schoolboys and one from Malalo, to train. They were shy at first, but soon settled in and progressed very well. After three years of training they were all sent to outstations - Jambungnu to Kalasa, Zozinggao to Sattelberg, and Ngasengom to Malalo, Ngasengom died early, but the other two continued to work faithfully for the church for thirty years

During those years, several more nurses came to work for the church; Sister Lydia Seidler (USA), 1931 at Ulap; Esther Venz (Australia) 1936 at Madang; Frieda Schoenwald (USA) 1936, Clara Pech (Australia), 1936 Elfriede Stuerzenhofecker (Germany) 1936, Hedwig Ruf (Germany) 1937, all at Finschhafen; and Marie Kroeger (USA), 1940 at Madang. A number of these nurses subsequently married and continued their service, some until retirement. 

When Dr Agnes Hoeger from North Dakota, USA arrived at Amele Hospital in September 1935, Dr Braun was freed to do more fieldwork to visit and advice the nurses on outstations and conduct health surveys.
With the Australian Lutheran Mission taking over the mission work on the Siassi
Islands in 1936, Missionary Harold Freund and his wife Dora paid special attention to the treatment of yaws for which intravenous injections where now available.

The World War II Period

At the outbreak of the war in 1939, Dr Hoeger took over Kakoko Hospital in
Finschhafen; however, following the Japanese attack in 1942, she was evacuated to Australia. She had hoped to return to New Guinea with the United States Army, but instead found herself serving as an army physician in Peru.

Restoration after the War 

After the end of the war in 1945, Dr Fricke, Executive Secretary of the American Mission Board and Missionary John Kuder visited New Guinea to assess the situation on the field. The physical plant of the mission was wrecked; however, as Dr Fricke said: 'The mission is gone, but the church is still there'. They inspected the huge 119th Field Hospital of the American Army situated at Buangi in Finschhafen. It had permanent buildings and everything that was needed except a maternity ward. The Mission negotiated with the Army, and bought the hospital and equipment for the nominal sum of US$10,000., which was collected by the women of the American Missionary Federation. 

At Finschhafen, missionaries arrived back toward the end of 1945 and early in 1946.
Germans, however, were delayed.  Work began immediately at Buangi; and, not long afterwards Dr. and Mrs. Braun returned to the field to be stationed there. Dr Braun set out to rebuild and strengthen the church's medical program.
In his report to the church in December 1946, he wrote. 

Each centre has to be a centre of evangelistic activity and a point from which knowledge of disease prevention radiates. The program cannot stand if we should lose our contact with evangelistic mission work or if the members of our staff are not consecrated to their task and willing to work overtime if necessary. 

Dr Mary Gunter, nee Fritsch wrote about this time in her book - Doctor in Paradise -:

Naturally the most prominent element of my early New Guinea stage setting was Yagaum itself, which carried a fascinating history. It had been built immediately after World War II and opened in 1950, although the mission had already establishes and run a hospital at  nearby Amele during the 1930s, where the American Dr. Theo Braun had trained a dozen or so native doktabois (medical orderlies). That hospital was completely destroyed by the advancing Japanese, and Dr. Braun and his wife were taken prisoner on New Year’s Day 1943. Together with a group of about 200 fellow Europeans (mostly Lutheran and Catholic missionaries), there were subjected to shocking treatment for many months. Sick and wounded from the cruelty, with minimal personal possessions, and very meagre, often non- existent diet, they were herded mercilessly from one location to another – including Granged Island, Siar and Manam Island, and finally, to Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea – mostly having to build themselves huts or shelters in mosquito-infested swamps, with many dying along the way. On their way to Wewak on a Japanese ship, the group of POWs was bombed by allied planes, which killed and maimed many more of their number. After the Allies’ counter attack drove the Japanese away, those of the original group who had survived were found by American troops about eighteen months after they had been taken prisoner. By then, Mrs. Braun was so ill and weak that six more months passed before she could even be transported back to the USA for a full recovery. Within a year, however, the brave Brauns were back on their beloved New Guinea Mission Field.
      Fortunately, several of Dr. Braun’s doktabois had heeded his earlier advice and hidden a cache of medicines and equipment in a cave in the jungle; there they bravely continued to perform medical work until they were found by the Japanese and threatened with death. Perhaps because they were impressed with the sophistication of the work the doktabois were doing ( which included thousands of injections for yaws, dressings, skin-grafts and suturing), the Japanese actually not only spared them, but also co-opted them to serve their troops. To their credit, the doktabois did this fairly willingly as Dr. Braun had taught then to be impartial in serving other, and that they were not forbidden by their captors to treat the tribes people when necessary.
Once the Japanese had been overcome and fled, these courageous orderlies assisted the Australian government with its emergency medical post-war programme for a year or two, until they heard on the Mission grapevine that Dr. Braun was amongst the first batch of missionaries to have returned to New Guinea.
Joy, oh joy – they rounded up their fellow doktabois and set up a bush clinic near the site of the demolished Amele hospital - and then patiently worked as they waited. During this time they worked with what few supplies and equipment they still had and one of them inspired his fellow villagers to give a tract of land to the mission on which Dr. Braun could build a new hospital, and where these orderlies he had trained  pre-war could provide him with instant staff.

Hattie Braun worked in all departments of the hospital and assisted her husband in the theatre. She supervised the nursing care and taught the indigenous staff. One of the first men to be taught was Kito from Sattelberg, he came in March 1946. He had already worked for the church during the war with Adolf Wagner. He continued medical work until his retirement in 1983, having completed the building of the Kito Health Centre at Sattelberg. 

Sisters Ella Wallborn and Ruth Heber arrived in July 1946 to work at Buangi. 

1972, Dr and Mrs Braun retired, and were spared from experiencing the changes that came about in the hospital which they had so devotedly helped to build up for people they dearly loved. Hattie Braun and Theodore Braun had spent 48 and 42 years of their 1ives serving in Papua New Guinea. On the eve of their return to the USA, they said: Our main aim has been to bring the gospe1 and to train the people of New Guinea so that they, in turn, can further continue the work in their villages. Dr Braun died on March 10th, 1980, and Mrs Braun on January 26th, 1984 in Nebraska, USA. 

Buangi Hospital 

Dr. Agnes Hoeger transferred from Madang to Buangi in 1950, was for Finschhafen what Dr. Braun was for Madang. After coming into the Finschhafen area, she immediately set up MCH services. Sister Clara Rohrlach carried on this work.  When she and her husband David retired in 1973, they had served 40 and 37 years in New Guinea. 

Sister Helen Moll, one of the pre-war nurses who came from Germany in 1927 returned after the war and worked at Buangi, mainly in the laboratory, until her retirement. Sister Kaethe Wirth (Germany) worked first at Buangi, and later at Gaubin. When Bruder Karl Kirsch returned in 1951, he was based at Buangi, placed in charge of all congregational aid-posts and expected to establish new ones. Those set up were at Sattelberg, Keregia, Wareo, Boac, Taemi, Wagazaring, Siraring and Sariau.

 Bruder Karl said;

The work gave me much satisfaction; I felt how necessary it was to give help and advice in each centre and how much these men, who did outstanding work in isolation, appreciated my coming, even though it meant I was away from home more and more. 

Sister Emma Ruck (Germany) came to Buangi in 1957, where she worked and taught until 1973. Many more overseas nurses worked at Buangi over the years, among whom were; Elvira Koop (Australia), 1956, Rosemarie Lechner (Germany), 1957, Joan Kotzur (Australia), 1957, Kaethe Schwaner (Germany)1963, Margarete Bertelsmeier (Australia), to mention only some, Sister Heather Borgelt (Australia) took over  the MCH work in 1956, and was later joined by Sister Hazel Knopke (Australia). 

Training of national nurses was soon begun in Pidgin. Among Ruawe, from Sattelberg started his training at Buangi in 1958. He was later sent to Yagaum to upgrade his training and gain experience in the laboratory. When he graduated at Yagaum in 1962, he returned to Buangi to work in the laboratory. He says;

When I came to Buangi, there were few who could help me, and I had to find my own way in the work. We had a lot of work in those days with the outbreak of a whooping-cough epidemic, hookworms, anaemia, and TB. Norma Amtson, a laboratory technician from USA, was a great help to me and we worked well together. 

In 1963, Among married Jama, a nurse who had been trained at Yagaum and worked at Buangi, and then at Butaweng until her retirement. Thinking both of her medical work and her Sunday – school-teaching, she said; 

I am happy that God gives me this work to do. He has cared for me and my family all these years, and now my husband and I can still help the sick and tell them about Jesus. 

Fuawe Somanu from Sattelberg began his nursing training at Buangi in 1951, and graduated in 1955. He worked in aid-posts, then at Buangi and later at Butaweng, retiring in 1978. In 1984 when his village, Sosoninko, needed a village aide, he volunteered to help. As he said: I am old, but I am still able to help my people, as long as God gives me strength.  

Dr. Mary Fritsch arrived on the field in 1958, and spent most her time in the Finschhafen area. She was present when the rebuild Buangi hospital was opened in 1959. Money for this project had been raised by the Lutheran Women of Australia, a number of who came to P NG for the dedication service. Dr Fritsch spent most of her time in the country as the superintendent of Buangi and of the Butaweng chest Hospital. In 1960, she acted as medical officer at the Finschhafen government health station. Shortage of staff required her to serve as medical officer for both Butaweng and Yagaum hospitals in 1968 -1969. Whenever she was absent from Butaweng, the sisters took charge of the hospital. 

Relating the many difficulties of those times, Dr. Fritsch recalled;

Roads washed away, landslides and bridges collapsing (one even collapsed sideways while I was in a kombi van on, it, and it was only a crazy iron post piercing the window and impaling itself in the car’s roof which prevented the van and us ten folk inside from crashing twenty feet into the creek bed below). There were the uncertainties of plane flights, the vulnerability of boats and canoes, the difficulties of patients trying to get themselves to medical help, of others coming on homemade stretchers in  jeeps or coastal ships, etc".

Dr. Mary, Dec. 2011
Dr. Mary Gunther, nee Fritsche, 1962

Dr. Ursula Jehles (Germany) was in charge of Buangi hospital from 1961 to 1964; thereafter she took care of the medical outstations Wagazaring, Sariau, and Siraring.

After her leaving, Drs Meding (Germany), Marubbio (USA), and others worked at Buangi after having received medical orientation at Yagaum. Dr Kahu Sugoho from Bukawa village near Lae was the first qualified national medical practitioner in New Guinea. He joined the staff of Buangi in 1970. After attending the aid post schoo1 at Malahang for two years and receiving a medical assistant certificate, he spent four years at the Fiji School of Medicine, where he received his Diploma in surgery, medicine, and obstetrics in 1955. In Noumea, New Caledonia, he acquired a certificate for breath education in 1957. Tropical medicine and public health he studied again in Fiji in 1961, and from the East-West Centre in Hawaii he was graduated in 1969 with a certificate in paediatrics. Dr Sugoho was held in high regard by all the staff and patients as a fine doctor who showed Christian compassion for his patients. 

Eighteen months after coming to Buangi, Dr K. Sugoho (DMS) was replaced by Dr Stime (USA). Dr K. Sugoho left to join the Public Health Department and was appointed to headquarters. He then set up his own private practice in Lae. 

Sister Barbara Dolling was transferred from Awelkon to Buangi and took over the MCH work. She did much to update the training of the nurses as APOs and as child - health and midwifery orderlies, so that they could be acknowledged by the government. Most of these nurses went to serve on outstations such as Siassi, Menyamya, Zaka, Garaina, Malalo, Aseki and Wagezaring, Missionary wives who were nurses gave their support to these girls in their work. 

Butaweng - Braun Health Centre, later Braun Memorial Rural Hospital 
In Finschhafen on the southern side of the Mape River was the Butaweng Chest Hospital, built by the government and staffed by the Lutheran Church. It was officially opened in December 1958. Dr. Mary Fritsch took charge of it until 1959; Dr. Agnes Hoeger, then took over and remained until her retirement in 1965, having completed  almost thirty years of service in the country. The hospital at that time was a special hospital for the TB patients of Papua New Guinea. The hospital had seven (7) wards, all TB patients. TB patients from all over Papua New Guinea came to Braun Health Centre for treatment. Up to a total of 400 patients were there at the same time.

Dr.Fritsch again took over, and recalls the richness and uniqueness of the congregational and communal life at Butaweng. Baptisms, marriages, and deaths all took place. With 400 patients destined to stay for two years treatment, two New Guinean pastors, three medical orderlies, Ed Tscharke (Australia), Hilda Hauert (USA), and Doug Kohn (Australia), the caretaker were working at the hospital with much loving concern during this time, Dr Fritsch wrote; I'll never forget trying to describe to the patients sitting in the chapel after Wednesday devotions, looking at the moon sailing by outside, that man had just landed on the moon!
It was at this time that a basket making and craft program was set up for the good and comfort of the patients. Sisters Liesel Kummer (Germany), Christine Schulz (Australia), Elizabeth Ruediger (Australia), and the deacon Dieter Klemp (Germany) worked at Butaweng, with Sister Ruediger taking charge many times during the absence of Dr. Fritsch. The latter married Rudolf Guntner in 1970, and left the field at the end of that year.

During the 1970s, due to a change of treatment and rationalization of health services, the number of patients decreased steadily. Since Buangi needed more and more costly repairs, it was decided to merge Buangi and Butaweng at the latter place at the end of 1973. To accommodate the staff, a number of building materials were transferred across the river to Butaweng which then became a general hospital with two TB wards, wards for males, females, children and a maternity ward. 

In the year 1973, Christmas period, patients were moved from Buangi Hospital to Butaweng – Braun Health Centre.  November 2nd 1974, the health centre was in full operation and the official opening took place. The hospital became a health centre under the new classification of the National Health Plan, and was given the name Braun Health Centre in honour of Dr. T.G. Braun. 

The following doctors also served at the Braun Health Centre: Dr. H. Steinacker (Germany), Dr.and Mrs R. Braun (New Zealand), Dr. J. Hershey (USA), Dr. N. Nickerson (USA), Dr. M. Kaiser (Germany), Dr. E. Schumacher (Germany), Dr. Hermann Munsel (Germany). 

Today Braun Health Centre / Braun Memorial Hospital have its own CHW School and trains both men and women as aid post orderlies and nursing aides. With the instruction in English these students are fully recognized by the government after they have taken their final examinations. Mrs Dolores Holl was the first principal, followed by Robert Adami Yurukare, then Nuvi T. The next principal was again Mr. Robert Adami Yurukare who was then followed in 1997 by Mr. Dering Lengi, the current principal.. Sister Mamba Katur and Gewe Yamsob were the first tutors. Now in 2011 the school has 4 teachers helping the principal with the education of a total of 60 students. Every year 30 students graduate and go out to serve in the field. 

Today 2 CHWs who started their training at Buangi hospital and graduated in the newly build CHW School of the BMH are still working in the hospital.

The health centre / Braun Memorial Hospital was and still is responsible for all the medical service in the Finschhafen district, which has a population of 52,000 and covers 1,500 square miles of some of the most rugged mountains in Papua New Guinea, but their catchment area is the so called FISKA (Finschhafen-Siassi-Kambum) Region with an estimated  population of 160.000.

Sister Barbara said:

We are confronted with a real challenge to improve the health of these people. We need dedicated staff with much fortitude and stamina for the strenuous patrolling into the remote mountain areas, where few if any roads exist. 

There had been two teams of MCH workers reared by Sister Dolling and her counterpart Anike Titus, from Labu near Lae, doing the clinics by foot or by car to bring primary health care to the people, Mindik, Pindiu, Siassi, and Menyamya have MCH nurses stationed to do the patrolling, but they need to be visited and advised by staff from the Health Centre. The government has recognised Sister Barbara's contribution to health care by awarding her the Independence Medal in 1977 and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1979. Today, in 2011 the MCH workers are still daily on patrol, visiting the villages by car, by foot or boot, due to the fact that it is still extremely difficult for the sick from the remote villages to come down to the hospital. But nowadays the main task of the MCH is to bring awareness and immunisations to the villages.

Village midwife courses had been run by staff from the Health Centre at various locations, today there are regular training workshops held at the hospital. Village midwives live in their own villages and many mothers are able to give birth there with the help of these women. 

Braun Health Centre records show a marked decrease in admitted patients compared to the time of its beginnings. Sister Katur attributed this fact to the increased concern of the staff in primary health care, where the emphasis lies on prevention of diseases rather than care. 

A Village Aid program had been commenced by Dr. Kaiser, Mr Thompson Meteke (APO Supervisor from Siassi), and Sister Baleb Aikum from Karkar organized this program. In 2011 the program has been combined with the training of the village midwives, consisting of a curriculum of five distinct training parts.

1964 Braun Health Centre had come to the governments notice and was registered into government state.
Braun Health Centre around 1965
In 1997 the hospital was accredited and gazetted by the government and named Braun Memorial Rural Hospital.  

Braun Memorial Hospital 2009

Today, 2011, the hospital has 7 wards (men, women, children, obstetrics with delivery room, 2 TB wards and 1 ward which is used by the other wards when they are overflowing, but mainly used for postnatal mothers).
A total of 42 nursing staff (17 nurses and 25 CHWs) look after the patients on the wards, 5 paramedical staff  work in the laboratory, pharmacy and X-ray department.

One national doctor, three overseas doctors and an HEO now serve at Braun.

In addition the hospital now also has its own Primary Health Care Department. It organises the regular patrols of the MCH that go out to the remote villages, and the school and village awarenesses. Under PHC also comes the disease control and TB work.  Since 2010 the hospital is an accredited VCT centre. Apart from that the department is responsible for the in-services of the aid post staff and the training of the VBAs / VHVs (village birth attendants and village health volunteers). Head of the department is a national PHC Coordinator and one of the overseas doctors working full time as a PHC Supervisor, only helping in the hospital when there is an urgent need.

To keep the hospital running the administrator has an accountant to help with the financial side of the management as well as 21 ancillary staff, including 4 securities. 

There is also a permanent hospital chaplain and a dental technician serving the patients and the staff.

Since the beginning of the medical program of the church, the aims have merged. First there is a deep concern to bring primary health care to the people of Papua New Guinea by teaching them to help themselves. Secondly - and very prominently – there has been and is still continuing a succession of a great number of overseas and national medical workers carrying out a dedicated healing ministry. The third aim is to educate men and women to bring primary health care to every community, as well as actual care for the sick. Young national leaders of the Lutheran Medical Services continue to emphasise today what many faithful workers in the earlier years have taught: that medical work is God-given, and that only those who have Christ’s love in their hearts can find joy in this service
We say thank you for those hardworking doctors, nurses and others taking part in the health care program and improvement of this hospital and the health services to the people of Finschhafen. We also apologise to those whose names are not mentioned in this book.

The following doctors served at the Finschhafen Hospitals, at the Braun Health Centre, later the Braun Memorial Rural Hospital;

*      Dr. A.B. Estock 1923 – 1926 (Immanuel Hospital / Dari  Hospital)
*      Dr. T.G. Braun (USA)1930 - 1944 and 1945 – 1972)
*      Dr. Martha Koller (Germany) -  (1933-­1938)
*      Dr. Alfred Stuerzenhofer (1937 -1940
*      Dr. Agnes Hoeger (USA) - 1935 – 1942 and 1959  - 1965 at Braun
*      Dr. Ursula Jehles (Germany) 1961 to 1964;
*      Dr. Mary Guntner, nee Fritsch (Australia) 1958 – 1970
*      Dr., Nathan Stime (USA) Yagaum, Buangi, Braun 1971-1978
*      Drs. Meding (Germany) 1964 - ?
*      Dr. John Hershey (USA) Braun 1976, 1978-1981, 1985-1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002,2005,2007,2009 ( single years that are listed represent 3 month service)

*      Dr. Robert & Mrs Ruth Braun (New Zealand) - 1977-1979
*      Dr. H. Steinacker (Germany) – Buangi / Butaweng -
*      Dr. K. Sugoho (Bukawa/Lae)- Buangi /Butaweng -
*      Dr. & Mrs. R. Braun (New Zealand) -
*      Dr. N. Nickerson (USA)-
*      Dr. M. Kaiser (Germany)- 1980-1985

*       Dr. E. Schumacher (Germany)- 1982-84

*      -Dr. Ian Hamer (Australia) 1987-1989
*      Dr. H. Munsel (Germany) – 1984 – 1988
*      Two doctors from Sri Lankan , husband and wife for 1 year 1986
*      Dr. Winkler and Dr. Karen Winkler (Germany) - 1991 - 1994
*      Dr. C. Krieg - (Germany) - 1994 - 1997
*      Dr. Bitzer - (Germany) - 1996 - short term only
*      Dr J. Spengler (Germany)- 2000  - 2003
*      Dr. C. Thumser (Germany)- 1997 - current
*      Dr. R. Hogenschütz (Germany)- 2001 - 2004
*      Dr. A. George (India)- June 2005 – June 2006
*      Dr. Klein (Germany)- July 2005 – September 2006
*      Dr. D. Mock (Germany) - 2006 - 2010
*      Dr. A. Schulz (Germany) - 2006 - 2009
*      Dr. T. Francis (Goroka/PNG) 2009 - current
*      Dr. S. Leszke (Germany) - 2009 - current
*      Dr. P.Zzefirio (Kavieng / PNG) May 2010 –December  2010
*      Dr. H. Schildhauer (Germany) - 2011 – 2012