June memorial set for Warren Berggren, M.D.

March 05, 2015

Image with caption: Gretchen Berggren, M.D., and Warren Berggren, M.D.

Gretchen Berggren, M.D., and Warren Berggren, M.D.

Warren Berggren, M.D., a distinguished medical missionary throughout his career, died Jan. 30 at his home in Golden, Colo. He was 85.

Memorial service June 6

A memorial service is scheduled for June 6 in Golden, Colo. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:

A 1955 graduate of the UNMC College of Medicine, Dr. Berggren and his wife, Gretchen (M.D., Class of 1958), worked together to provide medical assistance to underserved populations around the world and were among the founding benefactors to the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health.

From 1959-1964, they worked as medical missionaries in Congo where they served a population of 130,000 people along the Ubangi River.

From 1967-1972, they lived in Haiti and founded the Community Health Program of Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles. Using local health workers to immunize all women at every market place, newborn tetanus was eradicated. Resident health workers registered and followed each member of the community. Dr. Berggren adapted the international formula for oral rehydration using local Haitian products to prevent deaths from diarrhea.

From 1967-1998, Dr. Berggren was on the Harvard School of Public Health faculty. He also earned a doctorate from Harvard School of Public Health in 1967.

Among his other outreach activities, Dr. Berggren directed primary health care at Save the Children for 10 years. He consulted or worked with the Haitian and Tunisian Ministries of Health, the United States Agency for International Development, UNICEF, World Relief, and the Colorado Haiti Project.

Dr. Berggren was born on a farm near Aurora, Neb. on Jan. 1, 1930. He focused his professional goals on public health and the principle that no one should be denied access to care, said Carol Swarts, M.D., a 1959 graduate of the UNMC College of Medicine and a close friend of the Berggrens. He was successful in cultivating partnerships between government and communities that advanced this vision. He remained professionally active through consulting, teaching, and advising.

Dr. Swarts said all who knew Dr. Berggren were inspired by his compassion, impressed by his professional achievements, and delighted by his wit. She said he understood the power of family and community to affect positive change in health care in 26 nations. He enjoyed jazz, loved literature and often quoted Shakespeare.


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Barry Karlin
May 27, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Dear Gretchen, Please let me know the time of the memorial. Barry Karlin (vbkarlin@gmail.com)

Gretchen Glode Berggren
April 06, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Memorial service change of date: June.8 is new date; locale is Anschutz Medical Campus where the Global Health Center is located in Aurora Co. Not far from Denver airport. Probably will be late morning/noon with reception following.