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Dr. Peter Liljeberg examines a child during one of the many medical mission trips he and his team have made to southwest Guatemala.


Dr. Liljeberg and "medical missionaries" to be honored Jan. 27

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - Updated: 12:00 AM

JOHNSTOWN -- Medical professionals, a spiritual leader and highly-regarded Associates from St. Mary’s Healthcare will be honored at the 18th annual Celebration of Healthcare Excellence, set for Jan. 27 at the Holiday Inn, Johnstown.

Honorees this year include medical professionals Kevin P. Cope, MD, of Mayer and Cope in Broadalbin; and Peter M. Liljeberg, MD, of the St. Mary’s Family Health Center in Canajoharie, along with Sister Danielle Bonetti, CSJ, who served at St. Mary’s for 11 years as Vice President for Mission Integration, and two “Associates Of the Year.”

Cope and Liljeberg will be honored along with their teams of “medical missionaries.” Both area physicians have made a personal and financial commitment to impoverished nations to help residents receive desperately-needed medical care and medicines.

Dr. Peter Liljeberg is a member of the board of directors of the Boca Costa Medical Mission located in southwestern Guatemala. According to its website, the long-term goal of the Mission is to host medical teams, and offer medical clinics, surgical programs, infant feeding programs and educational opportunities as well as better living conditions through construction programs. 

The organization’s long-term goal is to empower the people to be able to help themselves, as many of the residents of the Boca Costa region are impoverished indigenous Maya who were once afraid of health centers and hospitals because of discrimination, poverty, language and cultural barriers.

The Boca Costa clinics are run by local staff along with volunteer international medical and surgical teams. Teams bring their own supplies with them, including hundreds of pounds of medicine, vitamins, medical equipment, clothing and personal items.

Liljeberg’s teams of around 15 people have been made up of several local residents and clinicians, and include his wife Betsy, a pediatric nurse practitioner.

For more information, or to make reservations for the Celebration of Healthcare Excellence, contact Jessica Smrtic, Director of the Foundation of St. Mary’s Healthcare, phone (518) 770-7584 or email


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