Dr. Rick Hodes
Rick Hodes first arrived in Ethiopia during the 1984 famine and has been working in East Africa ever since. Hodes graduated from University of Rochester Medical School and received his medical training from John Hopkins University, he was also honored with a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Addis Ababa in 1985. Almost three decades later, Dr. Hodes continues to practice at hospitals in East Africa, saving lives and specializing in helping patients with severe spine deformities. He has also worked with refugees in Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, Somalia, and Albania. In 2007, Dr. Hodes was selected as a “CNN Hero,” a program that highlights ordinary people for their extraordinary achievements. The American College of Physicians has awarded him “Mastership” and the Rosenthal Award for creative practice of medicine. Along with his many achievements, Hodes is the Medical Director for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Spine Project in Ethiopia, a completely non-sectarian organization - he treats everyone and anyone that walks through his clinic door. JDC and FOCOS (below) are both partners that work to provide surgery in impoverished countries like Ethiopia and Ghana. For The Scoliosis Project, Dr. Hodes has allowed me to shadow him in the clinic but will also be senior advisor for the initiative.
The Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine
The Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) is an organization launched in the United States in 1998. Their mission is to provide affordable orthopedic care to those who would not otherwise have access to such treatment. The cases they treat are among some of the most severe in the world—many that no other team of surgeons would consider operating upon. FOCOS has successfully completed almost 2200 life saving surgeries for children in over 32 countries. The organization is headed by another remarkable surgeon, Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei who like Dr. Hodes, has saved countless lives in East Africa. All surgeries that will be done as a result of this initiative will be performed at the FOCOS hospital in Ghana.
For more information on FOCOS' work, check out their website.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
JDC is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian aid organization.
Active today in some 70 countries, JDC works to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Their reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing high-impact disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide. Through their medical director, Dr. Rick Hodes, JDC also has a strong presence in East Africa, where they run massive humanitarian campaigns such as the one in Ethiopia revolving around life changing spine surgeries. TSP will be operating through JDC's fundraising platform that transfers all money raised directly Dr. Hodes' Medical program for a spinal surgery in Ethiopia.