SET­TING THINGS STRAIGHT

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Pursuits • Gen G - TEXT DIANA KHOO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY SUNNY MOK

Cel­e­brated ortho­pe­dics sur­geon Pro­fes­sor Oheneba Boachie-Ad­jei speaks about the de­ci­sion to leave his suc­cess­ful New York prac­tice in or­der to serve the needy in his home­land of Ghana. ThePeak meets him in Hong Kong, where his Foun­da­tion of Ortho­pe­dics and Com­plex Spine (FO­COS) was fea­tured by global in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs re­cently as part of its phil­an­thropic ef­forts. It’s not of­ten you meet some­one who walks away from fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity and solid ca­reer suc­cess in or­der to give back to coun­try and so­ci­ety. But Pro­fes­sor Oheneba Boachie-Ad­jei did just that, leav­ing be­hind a thriv­ing prac­tice in ortho­pe­dics in New York City to re­turn to his birth coun­try of Ghana and set up the Foun­da­tion of Ortho­pe­dics and Com­plex Spine (FO­COS), as well as over­see the FO­COS Or­tho­pe­dic Hos­pi­tal in Ac­cra, a spe­cialised cen­tre ded­i­cated to pro­vide ortho­pe­dics and spine care to the needy. Pro­fes­sor Boachie, as he is pop­u­larly re­ferred to, was hon­oured with the 2004 Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award by the Amer­i­can Academy of Or­thopaedic Sur­geons. Not that his good work didn’t go un­no­ticed by oth­ers. Re­cently, FO­COS Board mem­bers em­ployed by the Hong Kong arm of renowned in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs helped or­gan­ise a spec­tac­u­lar fundrais­ing gala for FO­COS, in con­junc­tion with Gold­man Sachs’ Phi­lan­thropy Day, de­signed to share the mes­sage of giv­ing in the cul­ture of Gold­man Sachs with clients, while en­cour­ag­ing and ed­u­cat­ing oth­ers to de­velop their own phil­an­thropic agenda. An A-List crowd turned up in sup­port, in­clud­ing NBA leg­ends Yao Ming and Dikembe Mu­tombo, CNN correspondent Isha Se­say, Caryl Stern, Pres­i­dent & CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF, and Ron­ald Chao, Founder of the Bai Xian Asia In­sti­tute.

Born in Ku­masi, Ghana, in 1950, Pro­fes­sor Boachie hails from the Ashanti war­rior clan. His father, a chief, named him Oheneba Boachie (which means ‘prince’ and ‘keeper of the trea­sure’, re­spec­tively). “My par­ents sep­a­rated when I was just two years old, so I was brought up by my grand­mother un­til the age of 10,” he says. “Around the age of six, I’d fallen very ill. And my fam­ily, who had very lit­tle money then, could only af­ford to bring me to tra­di­tional heal­ers. It was a stroke of luck that they en­coun­tered a young Ghana­ian doc­tor, who’d re­turned from abroad to set up his prac­tice back home.” It turned out to be a god­send as it was to be Pro­fes­sor Boachie’s

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