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January 25, 2007

Ghana Night to raise funds for West African medical rehabilitation program

Event to be held Friday, Feb. 16 at Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ghana Night at the Michigan Theater will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, to benefit the joint effort of the Ghana Medical Rehabilitation Group and the International Rehabilitation Forum to build a premier Ghana-based training program for West African rehabilitation professionals – physicians, therapists, nurses, and other allied health professionals. 

The event will include African dance, music, traditional Ghanaian foods, a silent auction with Ghanaian arts and treasures, and a special showing of the movie “Emmanuel’s Gift.”

Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, “Emmanuel’s Gift” is the true story of a Ghanaian amputee – an award-winning athlete and friend of the International Rehabilitation Forum – who conquered stereotype by riding a bicycle across his country. The producers and distributors of “Emmanuel’s Gift” (available on DVD) have donated the use of the movie for the event.

The International Rehabilitation Forum is a consortium of leaders from more than 20 top academic medical rehabilitation programs, including the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Ghana. The forum works to build sustainable medical rehabilitation throughout the world. 

The Ghana Medical Rehabilitation Group, a Michigan-based collaboration between Ghanaian expatriates and Michigan rehabilitation professionals, has committed to build a national rehabilitation program for that West African country.  The U-M Health System’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is a major sponsor of this event.

Stable but very poor, Ghana has no rehabilitation hospital, no rehabilitation doctors, and only a few therapists, nurses, and other allied health professionals able to help those who are disabled by problems such as AIDS,  trauma or birth disorders. 

In addition to aiding the efforts to build a training program, proceeds from the event will aid the development of a rehabilitation hospital and clinics in Ghana, and help to catalyze sustainable rehabilitation businesses such as a local wheelchair manufacture.

To purchase tickets, contact Nicole Jorgensen at Tickets also will be available at the door for $10.  For more information about the Ghana Medical Rehabilitation Group, the International Rehabilitation Forum, or the University of Michigan’s rehabilitation work in Ghana, contact Andrew J. Haig, M.D., President, The International Rehabilitation Forum, and associate professor,
UMHS Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at or (734) 763-4300.


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