Teamwork and talent result in successful 2017 trip to Apam.

At the last minute, team leader Dr. Marsha Bornt was unable to participate in the 2017 trip to Apam. She was missed very much by volunteers, St. Luke’s Catholic Hospital administrators and staff, and by Ghanaian patients. Dr. Bornt’s dedication and hard work in Apam over the past ten years created a framework for the team’s successful work in 2017 and beyond.

When asked about the 2017 trip Dr. Dennis Johnson said “…we missed Dr. Bornt and we were fortunate to have a very cohesive group that worked well together, sharing their considerable skills to touch many lives in Apam.”

That cohesiveness resulted in one hundred and twenty-nine thyroid, hernia, gynecology, and general surgeries. The medical team, led by Dr. Seth Quartey, held two free blood pressure and diabetes screenings at Apam churches and saw patients in the Hospital clinic and wards.

The professionalism, adaptability, and energy of volunteers factor prominently in the success of the trip, however, there are many other people whose generosity greatly impacts the trip’s outcome. Here are just of few of the people to whom we are grateful –

  • Robert Bohn and Clinton Industries for donating new exam tables, IV poles, exam room chairs, stools, and other hospital furniture,
  • Steve Shellenberger and S&H Express for donating storage space and equipment, and for making its employees and meeting space available to us year-round,
  • WellSpan/York Hospital Senior Biomedical Equipment Technician Ed Shane and the many other WellSpan employees who immediately think of the people in Apam when they see equipment that would be useful to St. Luke’s Hospital,
  • Jim Kiley and Ethicon for donating an harmonic scalpel device. This was the first time an harmonic scalpel was used in Apam and it increased the efficiency of thyroid surgeries.
  • Sister Mary Magdelene Arthur, Dr. Frank Odame, the Hospital Administration, and the wonderful IT, Surgical, Pharmacy, Lab, HR, Clinic, Kitchen, Maintenance, and other staff for going out of their way to create a welcoming, professional environment,
  • Dr. Clyde Strang for his generosity to and interest in he next generation of surgeons,
  • Dr. Bob Davis, Dr. Tom Davis, Dr. Marsha Bornt, Dr. Shawn Lybarger, Dr. Derek Liang, physicians and staff at Apple Hill, and other medical professional who make it a habit to collect, sort, and donate usable medical and surgical supplies,
  • Rose Johnson, R.N. and her friends for contributing funds to purchase pulse oximeters and other supplies and equipment,
  • Building Solid Foundations board members, especially Dr. Rich Kurz and Dr. Seth Quartey for their donations of time and talent to make this trip possible, and
  • The many Annual Fund Donors whose “use my gift where it will do the most good” contributions allow Building Solid Foundations to purchase and ship supplies and equipment to Apam.

The two-week trip wasn’t all work. Dr. Frank Odame and St. Luke’s Hospital administrators, staff, and employees hosted two festive dinners, which gave everyone the opportunity to know each other outside of work. The Hospital coordinated a tour of Elmina Castle, which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and a trip to the Canopy Walk and Nature Trails at Kakum National Park. Volunteers spent Saturday night at the Blue Diamond Beach Resort, dined out at Sankofa Square Jamaican Restaurant, shopped local for FanIce and fabrics, and toured and shopped for souvenirs at the Makola market in Accra.

The dates for the 2018 trip to Apam will be announced shortly. If you are interested in traveling to Apam next year, send an email to