Helping children with Scoliosis in Africa

Many therapists and instructors are compelled to apply their knowledge of movement in different ways to benefit society. Hagit Berdishevsky is one such person, whose passion for health has lead her to cooperate with FOCOS (Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine) foundation in Africa. World-renown orthopedic surgeon Dr. Baochie-Adjei founded FOCOS with one goal in mind – provide life-changing, spinal surgeries to children in his home country of Ghana, and in other developing nations in Africa. Hagit applies her extensive knowledge in working with scoliosis to aide in the recovery of these children.

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Dr. Boachie-Adjei is known globally for his extensive knowledge of spine deformity and special expertise in the treatment of scoliosis, kyphosis, and spine reconstruction in adult and pediatric patients.  Originally a group a 250 volunteers, FOCOS set to work on administering hundreds of free spinal surgeries to patients in the region. In 2008, Dr. Boachie-Adjei and his team moved from their humble clinic, Watson House, to the FOCOS Orthapedic Hospital. It was constructed with over $20 million in donations, boasts state-of-the-art medical equipment, and treats patients from all over the globe. They are committed to sustainability, education and research on spinal injuries in these developing nations.

Some of the rarest, riskiest surgeries are performed by FOCOS – surgeries many other surgeons wouldn’t dare touch. Almost 50,000 patients have been treated worldwide, with conditions ranging from complex spinal deformities to knee prostheses. If you are curious about the different surgical interventions, videos of Dr. Boachie-Adjei performing these surgeries are on YouTube.

Video courtesy of FOCOS Hospital

Hagit’s background as a physical therapist makes her perfect for her role in the patients’ recovery. Over fourteen years ago, she graduated a Physical Education and Sports Science program with a focus on Postural Defects Cultivation in Israel. In 2010, she earned her certification as a Schroth Method Therapist by the Asklepios Katherina–Schroth Clinic in Germany and uses this method with the recovering children. Hagit is one of 5 Schroth Method professionals in the United States. She is incredibly passionate about her work.

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Hagit and Polestar Educator Lise Stolze have combined their knowledge of how best to treat patients with Scoliosis in a new 1-day course, Intro to Pilates Adaptations for People with Scoliosis. This is an introductory course for conservative care of idiopathic Scoliosis (IS). In this course they incorporate breath techniques and modify Pilates mat exercises for Scoliosis.

You can learn Pilates adaptations for Scoliosis patients, based on the Schroth Method, from Hagit and Lise. Join them in our upcoming courses in Grass Valley, CA or St. Louis, MO. You can make an impact on world health by learning new skills like these. In fact, any way you choose to make an impact makes a difference.

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