Alberto Peña, MD, Colorectal Center

  • Colorectal Center leads Ghana mission

    Week-long project includes 34 operations, training conferences, hostel renovation

    This is how 34 doctors, nurses and volunteers spent their time off in March 2012: traveling thousands of miles to Africa and rising before 6:30 a.m. every day to work long hours running three operating rooms for a week.

    Along the way, the team provided advanced colorectal and gynecological surgery to 34 children, many of whom had been waiting years to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. Volunteers also provided training to dozens of African physicians and nurses, donated entire shipping containers of medical supplies and equipment, and renovated a 21-room hostel where parents can stay while their children receive care. 

    International team

    The team included medical professionals and volunteers from the U.S., the Netherlands, South Africa and Israel. In addition to pediatric colorectal surgeons, Anna Varughese, MD, led an anesthesia group and Leslie Ayensu-Coker, MD, led a team that performed pediatric gynecological surgery.

    Ongoing relationship

    The project continues a relationship between Cincinnati Children’s and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the nation’s largest hospital. This was the second of three planned visits outlined in a 2010 memorandum of understanding.   

    To read more details about the 2012 trip to Ghana, visit our blog.

  • Ghana 2012 Mission Trip

    A family in Ghana.
    The 1,600-bed Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, located in Accra, serves an area that includes more than 4 million adults and children.
    Surgical teams repaired congenital anorectal anomalies, gynecological malformations and other rare conditions for 33 children.
    The team arranged for three shipping containers of surgical equipment, supplies, linens and toys for Korle Bu Hospital.
    Non-medical volunteers spearheaded a project to renovate a 22-room Mothers’ Hostel at Korle Bu Hospital.
    The 34 members of the Ghana mission included six people from the Netherlands, four from South Africa, and one from Israel. From the U.S., Cincinnati team members were joined by colleagues in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Washington D.C.
  • Thank you sponsors and supporters!

    The Peña Colorectal Center at Cincinnati Children’s thanks these individuals and organizations for their help making the 2012 Ghana mission possible:

    Mission supporters: MedWish, Ethicon, Standard Textile, Delta Airlines and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Pediatric Surgery Division. 

    Hostel project supporters: the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati, Five Guys Restaurant in Miami, Lehigh Valley Jewish Community, Dr. Inbal Samuk, Eva Levitt, Tyler Miller, Aliza Lerner, Julie Guttman, and anonymous donors.

    How you can help: Those interested in supporting future Colorectal Center missions may contact Gretchen Niebling, Colorectal Center Program Coordinator, by email to or call 513-636-3240.

  • The nation of Ghana is located in western Africa.

    The nation of Ghana is located in western Africa.

    The nation of Ghana is located in western Africa.

    The nation of Ghana is located in western Africa. 

  • How You Can Help

    The Colorectal rainbow fish.

    Donate online, or to learn more about how you can support international outreach efforts at the Peña Colorectal Center, contact:

    Gretchen J. Niebling, CAPPM, CPC
    Program Coordinator
    Phone: 513-636-3240