Dr. Lars Andersen, D.O., says Huntington University prepared him well for medical school — and he earned the grades to prove it. After graduating from Huntington in 1969, Andersen went on to finish first in his class at Kirksville (Missouri) College of Osteopathic Medicine. He then went on to be part-owner of a thriving medical center in St. John’s, Mich.
“I didn’t have any problems in med school after my undergraduate studies at Huntington,” he said. “Huntington provided me with the solid foundation I needed to succeed.”
Andersen has demonstrated his gratitude by serving as Alumni Board president and by leading The Campaign for Huntington University effort in the Lansing, Mich., area. Andersen shares the regional-chairman duties with Emmett Lippe, a 1964 graduate and former Huntington faculty member and trustee.
“Huntington University has a vision,” Andersen said. “It’s a Christian college with a goal of providing a Christian education and spreading the Gospel through its graduates, no matter what profession they choose. Today’s society needs to embrace Christian values.
“I believe Huntington has a true concern for the student, focusing not only on academic and athletic accomplishments, but more importantly, on the students’ spiritual lives,” Andersen continues. “As the Bible says, ‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?’ The world is in a period of moral decline, as we’ve witnessed in the past presidential administration. Huntington is an institution that will produce students who will impact our world for Christ.”
At Huntington, Andersen was an athlete (basketball, soccer and track) and student leader (vice president of the Student Senate and a dorm counselor).
“Being able to participate in these kinds of activities prepared me for leadership roles later in life,” said Andersen, who has also served as vice chief of staff at Clinton Memorial Hospital, a member of the deacon board at First Baptist Church of St. John’s and an assistant clinical professor with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
While at Clinton County Medical Center, Andersen was one of five doctors. The center has a total staff of 48, which includes Andersen’s wife, Kathy (Wortley), who also attended Huntington. “We provide a full range of services, from pediatrics to geriatrics,” Andersen said.
Andersen traded his stethoscope for a tool belt during mission trips to Russia during the 1990s. He and other members of the First Baptist Church traveled twice to Klintsi, a city of 100,000 about 300 miles southwest of Moscow, to complete the construction of a church. Andersen also toured the medical facilities while he was there.
“In Russia, we developed friendships that will last forever,” Andersen said. “It was interesting to see how the people wanted to hear the Gospel. At meetings, people crowded around to receive the Bibles we had brought for them. I find it’s a sad situation when comparing our public schools with theirs. They had the schools opened for Bible instruction, and there was no problem about openly praying, whereas in America, this is considered a violation of someone else’s rights.”
Anderson says his Christian perspective enhances how he practices medicine. “I think I’m more compassionate, more empathetic,” he said. “I take a more holistic approach that also addresses patients’ spiritual needs. I try to practice in a way that allows people to be not only patients, but also friends. This, at times, allows me the opportunity to discuss with patients their spiritual concerns.”
The Andersens have three children: Jeremy, a biochemistry major at Western Michigan; Erin, an elementary-education major at Grand Valley State; and Abby, a seventh-grader. Lars and Kathy are also the proud grandparents of Patrick.
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