Small In Size, Big In Impact


Bend, Oregon, January 12, 2024 – In a big step toward transforming pediatric healthcare in Ethiopia, the Central Oregon-based nonprofit organization, ReachAnother Foundation, is spearheading the launch of the first stand-alone, state-of-the-art, Pediatric Neurosurgery Center in Ethiopia. 

This groundbreaking initiative expected to be operational by summer 2024 is made possible by a generous grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. It exemplifies both ReachAnother’s commitment to creating lasting change for Ethiopian children born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s dedication to increasing access to healthcare for vulnerable children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“This new Pediatric Neurosurgery Center is not just about immediate medical intervention; it’s about building expertise within country, fostering training and research, and ensuring that the care these children need is sustained for years to come” explains Patricia O’Neill, President of ReachAnother. 

“This project is a significant undertaking for ReachAnother Foundation, and it marks a historic moment in Ethiopian healthcare” added Yakob S. Ahmed, ReachAnother Ethiopian Country Director. “The Pediatric Neurosurgery Center at Zewditu Hospital will be a beacon of hope for children who, until now, have faced critical challenges in accessing specialized care.  We are immensely grateful for Helmsley’s unwavering support, which enables us to bring about this positive and long-lasting change.”

With a population of 120 million, Ethiopia has a predominantly young demographic, yet, until now, there has been a glaring absence of specialized pediatric neurosurgical care. The Pediatric Neurosurgery Center at Zewditu Memorial Hospital aims to change this by providing comprehensive care exclusively tailored for pediatric patients. This initiative ensures that children with neurosurgical needs will receive priority, specialized attention, and dedicated resources, eliminating the need to compete for limited hospital slots with adults. 

With a mission focused on preventing neural tube defects through folic acid food fortification as well as on providing treatment and aftercare for children facing this birth defect, ReachAnother stands out for its dedication to fostering self-sufficiency and empowering local communities.  Since 2009, ReachAnother has funded surgery for over 11,000 children and today it partners with eight hospitals across Ethiopia to develop Centers of Excellence in Pediatric Neurosurgery.