Dr. Mark Druffner and his wife, Molly Druffner, Hudson, received an award from the Mission Doctors Association on Feb. 24 at the organization’s benefit gala. (Submitted photo)

Mission Doctors Association presented Hudson residents Dr. Mark Druffner and his wife, Molly Druffner, with the Msgr. Anthony Brouwers Award Feb. 24 at the Annual Heart for the World Gala at the City Club, Los Angeles.

The award is in recognition of their faith and service in rural Tanzania over many years.

After serving in Kenya from 1990–91, the Druffners, members of the Church of St. Michael, Stillwater, Minnesota, were determined to continue to serve internationally.

In 2009, they learned of the needs in a remote location in Bwambo, in rural Tanzania, when they heard the priest physician, Fr. Beda, MD, speak at their parish. The following year, they arrived with their seven children, ready to work and see what God had planned for them. In doing so, they have made a lasting impact. They continue to return every summer to that location.

When they first arrived, there were only six people on the staff at the hospital. With the Druffners’ commitment, there are now more than twice that, and they are able to provide care to many more patients.

The Druffners are received this award because they personify the heart of Mission Doctors: by following God’s call to heal the sick, they have impacted countless lives, said Elise Frederick, executive director of Mission Doctors Association. They have raised funds for an ambulance, improved patient care and helped people who have no other option for care.

“The Druffners have been instrumental in transforming the hospital,” said Frederick. “Their dedication and the hard work of the entire family has been supported by hundreds of individuals determined to improve care.”

Mission Doctors and the members of Mission Doctors Auxiliary have made it possible for Catholic doctors and their families to serve in response to their faith since 1959. MDA was founded by then director of the Propagation of the Faith in Los Angeles, Msgr. Anthony Brouwers. He invited all the faithful to seek ways to live with the knowledge that all who are baptized are baptized to serve. This annual award is given to recognize those who live Msgr. Brouwers’ vision of faith and service for Catholic lay men, women, couples and families.