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Charitable Efforts

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The charitable efforts of Essentia Health Go Far Woman is in honor of Dr. Renee Schwandt, Sue Bertsch's sister.   Renee was an OB/GYN, sister, daughter, wife, mother and an amazing person.  She had a 'drive' like no other - and that ferver for life has been the theme of this event.

Since the inception in 2013, the Essentia Health Go Far Woman has given over $66,450 to the Essentia Health NICU to assist with purchasing equipment to help the littlest of patients.  In 2018, Sue Bertsch committed a donation to name one of the new Essentia Health NICU rooms after her sister, Dr. Renee Schwandt.

Donation made to Essentia Health NICU

Rock in memory of Dr. Renee Schwandt, located outside of the Emergency Room entrance at Essentia Health in Fargo.

Throughout the years, the Essentia Health Go Far Woman has also donated over $20,000 to organizations and school groups in our community.  Their partnership has been an integral part of the success of the event - and we are thrilled to be able to support our local teams!

Renee grew up in Hickson, ND - and attending Kindred High School.  She was intelligent & athletic, graduating at the top of her class as Valedictorian and playing Varsity sports like Basketball, Volleyball and Track.  She participated in the State Track Meet - running a 5:47 her sophomore year!

She graduated with her Bachelor's & Master's Degree from North Dakota State University with the highest honors. In 1989, her and her family moved to Tampa, Florida, where she began working in Hospital research at the University of South Florida. In 1995, Renee graduated from the University of South Florida College of Medicine at the top of her class. In 1999, Renee completed her residency in Obstetrics/Gynecology at Tampa General Hospital

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Renee running track at Kindred High School.  She was on the NDSU Track team her freshman year.


Renee giving shoes to a patient in Kingston, Jamaica in 2003

During her lifetime, Dr. Renee went on several Medical Mission trips to Haiti and Jamaica.  The year after her passing, her two sisters, Amy Carlson and Sue Bertsch, went to Mission Jamaica in her place.  There they realized the reach that she had with her loving & caring ways - and vowed to live their lives in the same fashion.

The Essentia Health Go Far Woman carries values of friendship, comraderie, strength, determination and above all love for each other.


Amy and Sue at the same clinic in Kingston, Jamaica with a dedication to Dr. Renee in 2004

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