A neuroscience staff nurse at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) since 1978, Marjorie Ratel is a strong advocate for access to quality health care in low and middle level income countries and is the spearhead of Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. She possesses a tenacious drive to improve the lives of others and a natural aptitude for inspiring key figures and organizations to support her vision.
Ms. Ratel founded the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Project in 2000. By the following year, she and nursing colleagues, along with members of the Ghanaian community, began organizing the shipment of good-quality used medical equipment together with new medical supplies to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) Neurosurgery Unit. Since 2000 over 30 containers of medical supplies, worth millions of dollars, have been shipped to Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia & Sierra Leone. Ms. Ratel is currently leading an international volunteer team of devoted experts and consultants as they support infrastructure developments in Ghana. The primary goal is to establish the regional Centre of Excellence in Neurosurgery and Clinical Neurosciences that will provide North American standard neuroscience health care, education and training, and research for West Africa. The original Master Plan developed by KBNF’s Project Management Team helped launch the 600 Bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital, currently completing construction in East Legon, Ghana.
In Vancouver, she and her team established the non-profit Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF) in 2003, followed by two accompanying Canadian fundraising charities in 2004 and 2005. A sister board in Ghana was also launched in 2002 inspired by her leadership. Since then, she has led innovative team expansion and partnerships across Canada and the U.S., to promote the Foundation’s vision, encouraging members to join and fundraise. She has inspired key North American university faculty to participate and provide their expertise to the work of KBNF. Ms. Ratel has been a driving force in turning these aspirations into sustainable results while developing the core foundation family. She also avidly supports the Ghana Prison Ministry and Shiashie Faith Presbyterian Church & School projects in East Legon, Ghana. In 2006, Ms. Ratel was presented with the Ghanaian-Canadian Achievement Award for her efforts in improving health care delivery to Ghanaians and is a permanent honourary member of the Ghana Canada Association of B.C.
A graduate of Vancouver General Hospital and University of British Columbia nursing schools, much of Ms. Ratel’s career has been spent providing clinical expertise and education, while devising and upgrading nursing policy, standards of care, and clinical pathway development. She is respected as an expert nurse in geriatric care as well as neuroscience, is a compassionate caregiver, and a highly capable administrator. In addition, she thoroughly enjoys leading a morning church service monthly for a local senior’s facility.
In 2007, UBC Alumni honoured Ms. Ratel with the Global Citizenship Award.
Ms. Ratel is the 2009 recipient of the Norma Canlas Diamond Award for her dedication and excellence in life, leadership and core values. A coach for the UBC Global Student Speaker’s Bureau, Ms. Ratel mentored international students for several years.
In 2013, Ms. Ratel was honoured by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston with the Governor General’s Visit Medallion for “dedication to improving medical treatment and promoting research in neuroscience in Ghana”. In 2016, Ms. Ratel was asked to sit on the permanent board of the G4 Alliance, of which KBNF is a Founding Member.
She is a single mother to Bradley, Melissa, (and now her fiancé Chris) who support their mom through thick and thin and have accompanied her on foundation trips. Ms. Ratel gives honour to her family and the memory of her devoted mother, tenderly known as “grandma” to the Ghanaian community.