About Us

About Us

What We Do

CompassioNow was established in late 2005 by Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom after they visited a number of rural villages in Africa in 2002 and 2004. During their visits, they found many people not only suffering from HIV/AIDs, but also were in great need of the most basic healthcare services. Setting a broken bone correctly to prevent a child from living life as a cripple or cleaning and dressing a wound properly to prevent life threatening infections brings stability to an entire family as well as their village. These are simple things that make a profound difference. This is the focus of the CompassioNow. Our mission statement is: 

“Providing essential healthcare to the world’s least served”

As a fully qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID #59-3814178)CompassioNow is dedicated to establishing and supporting effective medical clinics in African locations where the most basic healthcare is simply unavailable. While focused on delivering basic healthcare, the teaching and training of local people in basic healthcare practices and establishing community caregivers will have an even greater long-term effect by building self sufficiency in these communities.

Our History

CompassioNow was established in 2005 by Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom after they visited a number of rural African villages during trips in 2002 and 2004. Throughout their visits, they found many people not only suffering from HIV/AIDS, but who were also in great need of the most basic healthcare services. 

Their trip to Africa in 2002 had a profound effect on both Ed and Wendy, and stirred their desire to do something about the need they witnessed. In 2004, Ed recognized the need for a career change and decided to leave his position at Amgen to begin the next stage of his professional life. In some way, he wanted to help address the African HIV/AIDS crisis. Based on his years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he explored various approaches to providing access to treatment for AIDS patients in Africa. After a frustrating year of effort, he shifted his focus to working with existing medical clinics in Africa to help them be more effective in their work and began to seek ways to help communities start new clinics where none existed. CompassioNow was born out of an urgent desire to make a difference NOW, not talk about how we might make a difference in the future.

Philosophy. Mission. Vision.

The idea for CompassioNow came about following a life-changing trip that Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom made to Africa in 2004. They visited Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. They met with doctors and nurses and went to clinics, AIDS treatment centers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. They spent time with caregivers, church pastors and people dying of AIDS in their mud huts. They came face-to-face with the harsh reality of the devastating effect of AIDS and other healthcare issues in Africa. When they returned home, Ed was compelled to take action, and the creation of the CompassioNow was a natural outcome.

Ed and Wendy were deeply moved by the reality that the majority of people in Africa simply do not have access to even the most basic healthcare, especially the poor and those in rural areas. This gave rise to the CompassioNow Mission statement and the focus for CompassioNow which is simply “to provide essential healthcare to the world's least served.”

The name "CompassioNow" was chosen because we wanted a name that would instantly convey the message that we are an “action-oriented organization.” CompassioNow’s primary focus is to find where the gaps are in healthcare for the least served populations and fill those gaps, quickly. Our strategy is simple. We don’t build buildings. We focus on identifying the real needs of existing community-based essential healthcare and address them. A life-saving clinic can be conducted in a mud hut or under a tree.

FAQ's

What Is CompassioNow?


CompassioNow is a fully qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to establishing and supporting effective medical clinics in rural African locations where the most basic healthcare is simply unavailable. We provide resources to existing medical clinics as well as assist with establishing new medical clinics in areas where no healthcare services currently exist. We coordinate the shipment of donated equipment, supplies, instruments and medications as well as provide funding for medical personnel and training. 

CompassioNow was founded in 2005 and currently supports clinics located in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. 

The clinics we support serve approximately 70,000 people per year.

The mission of CompassioNow is to "provide essential healthcare to the world’s least served"

Board of Directors

Edward E. Bjurstrom

Edward Bjurstrom, Founder of CompassioNow, currently serves on the Board of the International Leadership Foundation, is a board member for Affordable Medicines for Africa, and Blackaby Ministries International. He is also the Co-Founder of the Jon Whitney Foundation. Mr. Bjurstrom has 30 years of operating experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, including executive leadership roles at Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company and more recently, Gilead Sciences, the world's most important innovator of treatments for HIV/AIDS.Mr. Bjurstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University at Long Beach and completed the Executive Business Program at the University of Michigan.

 


 

Wendy Bjurstrom

Wendy Bjurstrom is the co-Founder of the CompassioNow along with her husband, Ed. They determined to establish CompassioNow in 2005 after they visited a number of rural villages in Africa during trips there in 2002 and 2004. On their visits, they found many people not only suffering from HIV/AIDs, but many who were in great need of the most basic healthcare services. Today, Wendy is very active in overseeing the day-to-day work of CompassioNow, as well as assisting with fundraising activities for CompassioNow. 
Wendy served on the board of Women of Vision, San Gabriel Valley Chapter, from 2002-2008. The mission of Women of Vision is to educate others about the plight of women and children in poverty around the world. This helped to prepare her for the work she is currently doing at CompassioNow. She led two mission teams to Cambodia in 2004 and 2006. Wendy also co-founded, and serves as a board member of the Jon Whitney Foundation, which helps send teens to summer camps around the world. 

She and Ed have three children. Wendy enjoys reading and world travel.

Recent Posts

  • 25-05-2012
    Medical Team Visits Rural Hospital
    MAMBILIMA MEDICAL MISSION TRIP - 26 APRIL 2012 – 29 APRIL 2012 REPORT BY NELLIE CHITAMBO The airplane is under maintenance so this trip was made using our land vehicle. It started as a normal trip when we left Ndola at 09.20hrs on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, the vehicle broke down partway to our destination. We had to rebuild the diesel pump and filter which delayed our arrival at the mission hospital significantly. We finally arrived in the early morning hours on Friday. We found one of the housekeepers waiting for us and found a meal that was meant for supper…
  • 03-10-2012
    Medical Supplies Delivered to Clinics in South Africa
    When Compassion Tea co-founders Chris and Jack Faherty wanted to plan a family vacation, they decided to make it a life-changing one for their two children, Julia and Liam. Instead of heading to a beach or Disney park, instead of hoofing it through an American historical sight or partaking of the grandeur of one of America’s great national parks, they chose a trip to South Africa. And when they left for their trip in late July, they took with them an extra 5 duffel bags. Each bag weighed 50 lbs. and was filled with medical supplies. The Fahertys delivered the…