Medicus Christi in the News
Dr. Joseph Marotta last month in Troy, N.Y. with an architectural rendering of the orthopedic center he plans to build in Ghana, West Africa. It will care for patients and train local staff to carry out bone and joint treatment services into the future.
michael P. farrell / times union
Doctor’s Vision for Center Nearer Reality
By Claire Hughes
For seven years, Dr. Joseph Marotta has had a vision to build an orthopedic center in Africa.
The dream moved from concept to finished design in 2015, as the Menands resident’s nonprofit, Medicus Christi, gained traction with influencers in several nations. Marotta, inspired by his faith, thinks he will break ground next year on a one-of-a-kind orthopedic hospital and learning center that will be part of a Catholic hospital in Ghana.
“This really was a breakthrough year,” said the orthopedic surgeon, who has a practice in Troy.
Marotta’s vision is for a medical center unique to the African continent. Now, Western doctors and charities visit with expensive equipment, perform surgeries, then leave. Medicus Christi’s orthopedic learning center will be permanently attached to the hospital. Not only will doctors treat patients, they will also train local staff to perform surgeries, and they’ll return for ongoing support.
It’s a spin on the proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
“This is not giving them a fish,” Marotta said, “but teaching them how to fish, and staying there to fish with them.”
For Marotta, getting to this point has been a spiritual adventure.
It started with a provocation from a missionary visiting Marotta’s parish, St. Joan of Arc in Menands. Back from Ghana, the missionary asked for the congregation’s support, but added, “If you think putting a $20 bill in the collection plate today absolves you of your responsibility to your fellow man, you are wrong.”
Marotta, then 50, had built a successful medical practice that provided him and his family with a comfortable life. Since his undergraduate days at Siena College, he had considered serving the less fortunate.
“I was ripe for the picking at that point,” he said, then added in more religious terms: “Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes to you and gives you the opportunity and opens the door for you.”
Marotta found an early powerful ally in Cardinal Peter Turkson, a native of Ghana who studied with Kofi Ntsiful-Amissah, another native Ghanian and Marotta’s pastor at the time. Appointed to the Vatican, Turkson introduced Marotta to members of Congress and to Pope Benedict, who gave the doctor his personal blessing.
Friends also came to Marotta’s assistance. Former classmates and lacrosse buddies, professors and medical colleagues lent their business acumen and knowledge of international development.
And then the idea caught fire.
Early in 2015, Medicus Christi joined with Giving to Ghana Foundation, which raises funds for the Catholic Diocese of Sunyani. Their connections got Marotta in touch with the bishop of Sunyani and officials at one of the largest Catholic hospitals in the country, who expressed interest in locating the orthopedic center there.
After Marotta gave a presentation about Medicus Christi in Rome, an Italian orthopedic surgeon launched Medicus Christi Europe. At the same time, the Ghanian ambassador to the United Nations began working to raise awareness and funds for the orthopedic center.
Perhaps the biggest honor for Marotta came in early fall, when the Papal Foundation granted the organization $50,000. These grants are hand-picked by Pope Francis, Marotta said, and carry the weight of his blessing.
Just before Christmas, a New York City-based philanthropy announced the gift of an ambulance fully equipped to handle orthopedic emergencies.
Marotta thinks Medicus Christi will soon have $250,000, enough to break ground on the multimillion-dollar orthopedic center, which will be built in phases.
It all seems a little surreal, if perhaps divinely intended, to the doctor.
“I had this cockamamie idea I was going to build this hospital; initially I couldn’t locate Ghana on a map,” Marotta said. “This is my life’s work now.”
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The F.O.R.C.E. for Good Event
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Medicus Christi, Ltd. we would like to thank all the wonderful people who helped to make this first awards reception memorable. All proceeds from the event will go towards our first healthcare development project in Ghana, the Franciscan Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center(F.O.R.C.E.)Hospital.
Its not too late to join us. Go to our donation page and select “Click and Pledge” to make a tax deductible donation to Medicus Christi.
Medicus Christi announces the start of our healthcare development project in Ghana.
The “F.O.R.C.E. for Good Reception” is December 2nd.
Come celebrate with us. Donate a ticket for someone else or consider becoming a sponsor for the first phase of our hospital building program.
We are all called to serve the poor
“It is in giving that we receive” St. Francis of Assisi
Medicus Christi announces a new project and event to support the construction of our first building project in Ghana, the:
“Franciscan Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center”
The “FORCE” at Holy Family Hospital in Sunyani, Ghana
Join us on Wednesday December 2nd, 2015 at Siena College in Loudonville, New York for an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres and brotherhood to celebrate the creation of the FORCE!
Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased using cash or a check addressed to:
A FORCE FOR GOOD
16 MACAFFER DRIVE
MENANDS, NY 12204
Sponsorships for the project are available at the $1000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level. Please contact Dr. Marotta, Executive Director of MC, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or go to our website donation link “Click and Pledge” button.
All Sponsors will be recognized in the evening’s program and here on our website.
The current Ebola crisis in West Africa is undermining the very existence of the fragile societies it has invaded. The people, churches and governments of the region have reached out to Medicus Christi to ask for assistance in their struggle to deal with the current crisis and future healthcare emergencies. Our BREAK EBOLA campaign is a grass roots effort to answer this cry for help. We are intervening by procuring the necessary supplies and equipment needed to strengthen the region’s capacity to deal with this emergency as well as long term medical service goals.
Please help us in our efforts to empower our brothers and sisters overseas with the technology and support they need to survive.
Go to our DONATION PAGE and select the “CLICK AND PLEDGE” button to make a contribution.
Check out Dr. Marotta and his friendship with Cardinal Peter Turkson on CNN being interviewed by Susan Candiotti.
Listen to us on 88.3fm The Saint WVCR.
Medicus Christi Performs First Surgeries in Africa
Dr. Joseph Marotta and his volunteer team of medical professionals have successfully completed their first orthopaedic surgeries in Ghana this August. All of the hard work, planning, and generous donations have come together to allow this mission of charity to occur, and it lays the foundation for future success in developing the TORCH/WALC Orthopedic Center in Ghana.
Dr. Chris Harner, Dr. Vernon Tolo and Dr. Marotta at a recent JBJS Editors Reception in New Orleans. Dr. Tolo was a tremendous inspiration to me as a student. His wisdom, dedication and compassion are well renowned in the field of Orthopedics the World over.