Long-time FOCOS volunteers, Diane Gums and Phyllis D'Ambra, have teamed up with former FOCOS Board Member, Bettye Wright, to create the Spinal and Orthopedic Screening Program in Ghana. Diane and Phyllis, who are nurses at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, have donated their time and professional expertise for the past several years, traveling to Ghana at least once per year.
This outreach program offers free screenings for spine and orthopedic conditions. Volunteers and staff travel to local schools, churches and other hospitals to provide preliminary evaluation of possible conditions and deformities. If a problem is identified, FOCOS staff and volunteers work with individuals to get them help to resolve the issue.
During the first screening, which took place at a FOCOS Orthopedic Hospital Open House, a young girl was identified as a possible surgical candidate. The child had a severe curve of the spine and was referred to the hospital for further evaluation. She went on to have complex spine surgery at no cost to her family and is now thriving. This patient is just one of many who have benefited from the services of this program.
Diane is a long term member of the National Scoliosis Society who once led the chapter in Sacramento, CA and has a son that required scoliosis surgery. Phyllis has been involved in school screening since the early 1980's and has since assisted with the writing of legislation and the design, development, and implementation of the programs.
The entire FOCOS Family would like to thank both Diane and Phyllis for their dedication to FOCOS and compassion for our patients. To learn more about the FOCOS Volunteer Program, please click here.