New Beginnings

“Not without a cost” speaks of our family’s steadfast commitment. As with any dream, there is always sacrifice. Many members of our team contribute immense hours and days to fulfill the objectives of the foundation. Dr. Jocelyne Lapointe, KBNF secretary and neuroradiologist, embodies that commitment.  She has relocated to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) to support the development of the radiology department. The journey’s beginnings have not been easy. Challenges abound pursuing a work visa. Yet undaunted, Jocelyne painstakingly makes trip after trip to police headquarters and other government agencies, often travelling slowly for hours at a time on congested city streets, while remaining focused on the bigger picture. Our KBNF trailblazer, I cannot imagine anyone else that could break through these barriers with unremitting patience and unswerving determination. We can be assured that the process will be well defined and well thought-out for future members.

Thank you, Jocelyne, on behalf of our Foundation family and the country of Ghana. Many precious lives will depend upon your commitment. And many team members will take courage and follow in your stead.

August 2011 saw the advent of our annual KBTH — KBNF Neuroscience Conference, held in Accra and was attended by Ghanaians, Nigerians from University of Benin Teaching Hospital, and Liberian nurses. Our expert team of neurosurgeons, specialists, neuro-anatomist, and nurses received very high marks for program content and delivery; in fact, a useful (23.8%) to extremely useful (67.9%) reviews from the attendees with a request of conducting conferences quarterly (18%), semi-annually (33%) and annually (34%). We are indebted to the amazing team that took time away from their families and work and presented in-depth and heartfelt expert presentations.

Another exciting first, the establishment of the Research Neuroscience Graduate Program under the auspices of the University of Ghana School of Medicine’s Anatomy Department, became a reality. Dr. Lisa Cain, KBNF Research Chair, is partnering with Prof. Fred Addai, Chair of Anatomy department, to create an international neuroscience research centre that will impact the world. Our goal of establishing centres of excellence in Africa, build capacity and give the youth an opportunity to advance knowledge and care from their homeland is critical to our objectives. We are moving in the right direction.

Recognizing the importance of serving with your heart, Danny Moe, our motivational speaker par excellence, introduced our African associates to Heart Power. Watering your camels and Solomon’s clothes left such an impression that these cliques became household terms and he was voted the finest feature of the conference. Additional classes were held at the hospital and in various locations in Accra and Kumasi. One class of 35 hospital staff returned on a Saturday morning to take his Dare to Dream: Dare to Do workshop. What we recognize is that without cultural transformation in the industry, the aspirations of a contemporary medical care delivery system cannot truly become a reality. It’s wonderful having specialty skills, but care and respect must be delivered hand in hand. And what is required for the health industry is also critical for the country and our world. Consequently, Danny teaches his academy workshops weekly via Skype to Ghanaians and monthly in Vancouver. Many lives are being irrevocably changed.

Thank you Danny, for your commitment to excellence in all you teach, in your wisdom, your inspiration and in all your actions.

So to learn that transformation of Ghanaian and Nigerian lives is the outcome of our teaching brings a most gratifying reward. Just one example, Dr. Teddy Totimeh, a University of Ghana neurosurgery resident training in Tel Aviv, Israel, sent a message this week: “I still remember talking to Danny about dreams, at a time when it seemed like one of my key dreams, just did not look like [it was] happening. It was an inspiring time… I was reminded that the most important feature of a really life changing dream, is how improbable it seems. Now as I live this dream and face the challenges that come with it becoming true, I am encouraged, that God’s hands in our lives makes dreams come true. Nothing important happens without dreams.” 

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