" Our Staff - Bense SurgiSpa St. John's " "

Our Staff


Dr. Michael Bense, FRCSC

Founder and Medical Director

Dr. Michael Bense graduated Pretoria University Medical School, South Africa in 1970. He has distinguished himself both academically and professionally. Upon completing his residency in Ophthalmology in 1994 at Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, he completed the CNIB A.E. Baker Foundation Retina Fellowship in Diseases and Surgery of the Retina and Vitreous at the University of Toronto Medical School, 1995. In 1996, Dr. Bense became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCSC Ophthalmology), Canada.

Dr. Bense was Chief of Ophthalmology with Eastern Health Corporation, Health Sciences Complex, and today he remains a Retina Consultant at Eastern Health with privileges in all St. John’s hospitals. He is affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland as Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, and is on the executive of the Canadian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Dr. Bense is licensed to practice medicine and Ophthalmology in Newfoundland and Labrador, and in South Africa.

He is the Founder and Medical Director of Bense Vision in St. John’s – the only certified LASIK provider in Newfoundland and designated 2016 a Leading Ophthalmology Clinic by Leading Medical Clinics of the World. Dr. Bense is a true pioneer in the industry. He performed the first PRK procedure in Atlantic Canada in 1994 and the very first LASIK procedure in Atlantic Canada in 1997. Dr. Bense has received significant advanced training by top plastic and oculoplastic surgeons over the last 15 years. He has pioneered most of the minimally-invasive aesthetic facial rejuvenation procedures in eastern Canada, performing over 30,000 eye surgeries and hundreds of facial cosmetic surgeries. His advanced training in Ophthalmology afforded him a great understanding of Oculoplastic Surgery and other surgical treatments for the face. He is not only a board certified Ophthalmologist who knows the anatomy and structure of the eyelids and orbit, but also has had extensive training in ophthalmic plastic reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

In 2000 Dr. Bense established the first comprehensive medical aesthetics cosmetic centre in St. John’s and is now the leading provider of blade-free eyelid surgery in Atlantic Canada. He is certified in all popular facial and aesthetic surgical procedures including laser skin resurfacing, liposuction with BodyTite, cosmetic injectables such as dermal fillers and Botox, non-surgical facelifts with threads (Silhouette Lift), and numerous other surgeries and non-surgical cosmetic interventions.

Dr. Bense established Bense SurgiSpa 16 years ago and operates this award winning Cosmetic SurgiSpa with the Directorship of Registered RN, Kristine Feaver-Noseworthy. Dr. Bense puts the same passion for excellence, artistic creativity and attention to detail into all aspects of his refractive and cosmetic patients.

Dr. Bob Farrell, FSRCS (C), BSc, MS

General Surgeon & Laser Vein Specialist team

Dr. Robert Farrell, originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, is a board certified General Surgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He served in the Canadian Military from 1986 to 2006 and six different international tours with United Nations and NATO.

In 2005, together with his wife, he opened Havenwood Medispa, a facility dedicated to non-surgical medical aesthetics in CBS Newfoundland. From there he joined forces with Spa at the Monastery and Suites to become the first destination Medispa in Atlantic Canada.

His aesthetic training is extensive and includes Botox injections, Fillers, IPL, ND YAG laser for spider veins, Sclerotherapy, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, mesotherapy, basic skin analysis and identification and removal of various skin lesions including cancers. Dr. Farrell is trained in blepharoplasty, skin resurfacing and Radiofrequency assisted liposuction (RFAL). He also has several publications in the field of thermoregulation and has an MSC in Physiology.

Dr. Farrell is presently the Chief of Surgery at Carbonear General Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor with Memorial University’s medical school. He is also a Surgery subcommittee member with the Medical Council of Canada.

Dr. Farrell joined Bense SurgiSpa as an aesthetic surgeon specializing in Radiofrequency assisted liposuction (RFAL).


Kristine Feaver , RN, CPN(C), OA

Clinical Director

Kristine is the Clinical Director of Bense SurgiSpa since its inception in 2000. She has significant advanced training and experience in the field of Ophthalmological surgical services. Kristine is a member of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (CSPSN), Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (CAAASF) and achieved Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certification in Perioperative Nursing. A former Head Operating Room Nurse with Eastern Health, she has over 30 years working experience in operating room procedures, equipment, and drug protocols, and extensive experience in general, vascular and plastic surgery.

Kristine is the past President of the Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (CSORN). Before joining Bense SurgiSpa, she coordinated the establishment of day surgery ophthalmological surgical services at Eastern Health General Hospital site. Kristine served on the first RN Surgical Assist Committee established in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as a variety of hospital working committees. In addition to her work with Eastern Health, Kristine has worked as a General Duty Nurse with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Kristine graduated from the Grace Hospital Registered Nursing program with a post-Diploma Certificate (Registered Nurses Operating Room Program) from the George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology. She is also a graduate of Memorial University Nurse Leadership Development Program and has completed programs in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Peri-operative nursing and ophthalmic medical assistance.

Kristine became a cosmetic nurse when she realized how it felt to help make “people feel good.” She is a true pioneer in the Newfoundland medical aesthetic field, having trained and worked with Dr. Bense since the inception of the clinic. Kristine is a recognized top injector in Canada, in the art and technique of facial enhancement injection. She was there before BOTOX became the most popular procedure performed in the world and filler was not what it is today. Kristine takes a holistic approach to cosmetic aesthetic medicine, considering and treating the natural improvement of the whole face.

In addition to managing the operation of the clinic, Kristine provides many of the aesthetic treatments in the clinic. As well, she assists in aesthetic and ophthalmic surgeries. The appreciation of her patients come from the time and care she takes to get to know them, listening to their needs and providing a treatment plan that best suits their goals and expectations.


Heather Penwell, R.N, CCN (C)

Registered Nurse

Heather Penwell has worked in collaboration with Bense Surgispa for the last six years and has been involved in medical aesthetics for over eleven years.

She attended Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Grace General Hospital where she completed her diploma as a Registered Nurse in 1996. She then attended George Brown College in Toronto and completed a diploma in critical care medicine. Heather worked in the field of critical care for seven years and subsequently at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Center as a certified chemotherapy nurse before training in medical aesthetics. She has completed programs in chemotherapy as well as Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Over the last 11 years, she has trained extensively in non-surgical medical aesthetics such as BOTOX, Dermal Fillers, IPL, Laser hair removal, FemiLift, Laser Genesis, Fractora, Mesotherapy, Profractional, treatment of varicose veins and body contouring.

Heather’s organizational abilities and business acumen have awarded her with NLOWE Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and Business of the Year in 2007. She continues to strive for excellence in the field of medical aesthetics and is actively involved in ongoing training through Allergan. Heather is thrilled to be associated with Bense Surgispa and regards them as a professional, leading edge facility which delivers the best results.

Allison Bense

Allison Bense

Assistant Clinic Director

Allison Bense, Assistant Director, has been a welcomed addition to the Bense SurgiSpa team since September, 2014. Allison spent her young life as a ballerina and at the age of 10, began her journey into the world of professional ballet. After many disciplined years of training and missing her family, Allison decided it was time to move on. Her love of the arts however remained and she decided to learn the art of French cuisine and pastry, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cooking School. Allison decided that was not the path she was ultimately meant to take and felt a natural pull back to fitness. Always having a passion for educating and empowering others in health and fitness, Allison moved home to open the first Pilates studio in St. John’s in 2006. While building her business, she was fortunate enough to work at Bense SurgiSpa and was trained to perform Laser Hair Removal, Intense Pulsed Light, Microdermabrasions , Chemical Peels and Cellulite Treatments. After a joyful 8 years of teaching and building lasting client friendships, she has been equally as thrilled to be back and learning once again. She brings not only her certification as an Ophthalmic Assistant and technical experience in Laser Vision Correction but her gratitude for the opportunity to immerse herself in mastering the art of medical aesthetics. Allison loves working with such an amazing team and brings her love of business and sense of entrepreneurialism. Ultimately she believes in living life with passion, purpose and positivity…and don’t forget heart


Jackie Lake

Medical Aesthetician

Jackie has been a welcomed addition to Bense Surgispa since 2010. She always knew she wanted to work in a clinical setting since she completed a Medical Terminology course many years ago. Jackie is a Certified Medical Aesthetician with over ten years experience in the field. She graduated 1st in her class; received an award for most congenial, and a 1st Place award in a fantasy make-up application competition! Jackie loves to make people feel comfortable and gets much satisfaction from making them smile. She feels it’s important to gain a patient’s trust, that’s why they appreciate her honesty & keep coming back to see her. Jackie performs Laser Genesis, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, Laser Hair Removal, Intense Pulsed Light, Fractora/Fractora Forma, Cosmo Pen, Tattoo Removal and Consultations.

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