Stories of Impact, Strategic Campus Enhancement

Thomas Forsberg

They’re known by many names: healer, medic, doctor. This is the vocation chosen by Dr. Thomas Forsberg ’01, emergency physician and medical director of emergency services for Central Health in central and southern Virginia where he oversees 75 clinical providers and four emergency departments. He is also the co-founder of Healing Hearts Vietnam, a nonprofit that provides lifesaving cardiac surgeries for impoverished Vietnamese children and professional training to hundreds of Vietnamese physicians and medical staff.

For Forsberg, the symbolic white coat is more than an emblem of his trade. The knowledge it represents integrates with his ever-present faith to bring a sense of calling to his chosen profession. This synthesis of knowledge and faith is what initially drew Forsberg to Houghton’s pre-med program. The presence of Christians in the sciences is more pivotal than ever, for “an intelligent Christian worldview in the sciences opens doors to many who have not heard an intelligent rationale for our worldview,” he notes.

Dr. Charles Bressler, former professor of English, asserted frequently that Christianity is a journey of excitement and wonder—concepts that rang true with Forsberg. Additionally, the First-Year Honors Program in London instilled a deep appreciation for other cultures. The combination of the honors program and Dr. Bressler’s ideas motivated Forsberg to respond to the need for hope, both here and abroad. He graduated with a new outlook on Christianity, his role in the Kingdom, and beliefs that had been stretched and refined.

Faith is about being “all in” for Forsberg, who doesn’t “want to leave anything on the ballfield” when looking back at his impact on the world. Life, he asserts, “is not about you. Life is Christ and His will.”