Skip to content

The International Student Experience

Osei Boateng - Bringing Healthcare Access to Underserved and Rural Communities in Ghana 


Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation


To quote Elon Musk, "If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it." 
 This is not only the favorite quote of Osei Boateng, but also the motto he lives by. 
Osei graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Society with minors in Business and Gerontology and a Master's in Healthcare Administration from Cornell University. He is currently a student at the University of Utah pursuing a Master’s in Business Creation.OseiBoateng is an aspiring Healthcare Entrepreneur and founder of the OKB Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to bringing life-saving healthcare services to rural and underserved communities in his home country, Ghana. 
From a young age, Osei started identifying what problems in access to healthcare existed in his community after the loss of close family members who died from preventable causes due to lack of access to comprehensive healthcare and resources. Later, whilein college at Cornell,Osei began thinking about how he could make a change in helping address disparities and barriers to healthcare access in his community. Osei set out to find a solution.  
terri handling camera
Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation
In 2022, Osei converted a van into a mobile medical unit equipped with medical equipment and supplies, an array of medications, and onboard healthcare providers (a nurse, physician’s assistant, doctor, and operation assistant). Rather than having people seek medical help on their own, Osei challenges traditional forms of healthcare by bringing healthcare to the doorsteps of those in need. Since the inception of the OKB Hope Foundation, Osei andhis medical team have provided free direct medical care to over 5,000 individuals across 52 rural communities. 
terri discussing production with member of team.
Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation
To Osei, bringing lifesaving healthcare to those in need is his passion and purpose in life. Despite the odds against himhe chose to do what is important to him creating a better world by bringing healthcare to those in need and improving lives, one person at a time.
Two men in a van assisting individuals with medical devices.
Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation
Thanks to Osei’s hard work and dedication,Osei has recently been selected as one of the  Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2023" for his innovative humanitarian work and contributions accomplished by his foundation.  
As one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, Osei is a finalist for a $100,000 prize that will be awarded to the hero with the most votes received from the public. If granted this award, these funds will be allocated towards expanding the OKB Hope Foundation. Currently, hisorganization only owns and operates one single van, which travels long distances across Ghana to bring lifesaving healthcare (such as early screenings and treatments to prevent diseases such as typhoid, malaria, STIs, and diabetes) to underserved and rural community members.
Image of a crowd of people waiting patiently for medical assistance.
Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation
Osei’s vision for the future is to expand his foundation, so that not only can they get more vans, but “go beyond Ghana” to serve other underserved and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa and countries in the Global South. Over the next 10 years, Osei’s goal is to bring healthcare" to 8 million people. By getting more vans, more medical supplies, investing in technology, and training more people on his team, Osei believes that he and his team will be able to achieve this goal.  
Image of a woman administering medical assistance to child and mother.

Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation

However, to bring this vision to life, Osei needs your vote. Vote now for Osei Boateng for CNN Hero of the Year. Voters may cast up to 10 votes every day until December 5, 2023. The winner of the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year award will be announced live on CNN on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 6 pm MST. 

Osei Boateng hopes to not only inspire others with his story but also mobilize others to follow their passion and discover their purpose. When asked what piece of advice he could offer to other international students at U who want to make a difference in their respective communities, Osei replied, “Have an open mind! Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.”

Image of Osei assisting a community and is infront of his medical van.

Photo Credit: OKB Hope Foundation

Share this article:


Last Updated: 12/12/23