#HeroesWithoutCapes Oheneba Boachie Adjei: Restoring Hope

by Duchess Magazine
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Dr. Boachie-Adjai: Restoring hope for the underserved through spinal surgery

Brighter days for the underserved.

“If you want to be happy for one hour, take a nap. If you want to be happy for one day, go fishing. If you want to be happy for a year, inherit a fortune. But if you want to be happy for a lifetime, find somebody to serve.” – Dr. Boachie-Adjai.

Innovators. Pacesetters. Game changers. Groundbreakers.

The African continent undoubtedly abounds with dazzling talent doing exceptional work across the world in various spheres, impacting lives in no small measure.

Foremost Ghanaian orthopedic surgeon, Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei is President and Founder of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS), a non-profit organization focused on providing life-changing surgeries for ten thousands of people in underserved countries in West Africa and beyond with orthopedic and spinal problems.

Evidently living a selfless life of purpose, touching and changing lives forever, he lends expertise in spinal reconstruction and the treatment of kyphosis and scoliosis.

Dr. Boachie-Adjai, a prominent figure contributing to Ghana’s improving healthcare system, a native of Kumasi, Ghana, in 1972 at the 21, immigrated to the United States, attending Brooklyn College where he received a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in 1976. He then proceeded to study medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, earning his degree four years later. Upon completing his doctoral education, he went to study spine deformities at the University of Minnesota.

A professor of orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, in the United States, and an attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the top medical practitioner’s influence goes far and wide.

Born 16 December 1950 in
Kumasi, Ghana, one almost tragic event would serve as a turning point for a young Oheneba; at age six, he fell gravely ill and almost died, thankfully he got cured by a locally-born, Western-trained physician, deeply touched by the life-changing event, he vowed he too would dedicate his life to saving others.

Earlier in his career, he was selected to serve as the new chief of the Scoliosis Service at the Hospital for Special Service in New York in 1994. This laid the foundation for the establishment of the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Hospital in Accra, Ghana in 2014, upon his return home.

Since the organization’s establishment, with more than 500 amazing doctors who have dedicated their time, energy and resources it has applaudably provided care to more than 55,000 patients. Additionally, the hospital’s skilled surgeons have performed nearly 3,000 complex orthopedic and spine surgeries that save patients from back pain, muscle and bone deformation, and paralysis. Nearly $20 million have been donated to supporting the treatment of orthopedic problems in developing countries.

Worthy of note, Boachie-Adjei has invented and patented several devices used in spinal surgery.

Dr. Boachie-Adjei’s inspiring contributions to the world of medicine has earned him quite an impressive number of awards and accolades:


AAOS Humanitarian Award, 2004
Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize, 2012
Ghana UK-Based Achievement Awards GUBA, 2019
Louis Goldstein Award for Best Clinical Poster in 1999
Albert Schweitzer Science & Peace Gold Medal in 2005
Walter P. Blount Service Award in 2006 by the SRS
in June 2013; Dr. Boachie-Adjei received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospital for Special Surgery.

In 2015, He was awarded an honorary doctorate by his Alma Mata, Brooklyn College, and in 2016; the University of Toledo, Ohio inducted him into their Global Medical Mission Hall of Fame. awarded by the Philanthropy Forum Ghana; the Individual Philanthropist of the Year (Special Needs).
He has also been featured in the Discovery Channel documentary entitled, “Surgery Saved My Life” as well as was featured on CNN’s African Voices documentary as the Ghanaian Doctor transforming Spine Surgery in Ghana.


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