The pride of being Nigerian is often awoken when one hears, reads, or sees the success stories of other Nigerians, especially as they take the lead in making a difference in their various fields of endeavour in the diaspora.
Dr Wale Sulaiman’s recent achievement is one of such examples, as he’s been appointed Ochsner’s new Medical Director of International Medicine for the African Region.
Life and Education
A member of the American College of Physician Executives, Dr. Sulaiman was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He attended the Medical University, Varna, Bulgaria in Europe where he received his medical degree—combined MD/MSc degrees.
He then underwent fellowship training in complex nerve reconstruction at Louisiana State University in New Orleans and completed a complex spine surgery fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Sulaiman also holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, making him a Professor of Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery.
A renowned leader in healthcare with a broad range of experiences, he is a neurosurgeon and the System Chairman of the Neurosurgery Department at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.
Work and Achievements
Over the years, his activities have earned him recognition locally, nationally, and internationally like this new appointment.
According to a report, as the System Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana, he has been instrumental in making it one of the top 5% programs in the USA, #1 in Louisiana and #23 in the country by US News and World Report.
Prof. Sulaiman is recognized as one of the best spine surgeons in the USA and is skilled in the application of minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal disorders. With a PhD in Neuroscience, he is actively involved in neuroscience research and heads the Laboratory for Neural Regeneration at Ochsner Medical Center.
Other Works and Philanthropy
Over the past decade, the Nigerian-born physician has been actively involved in improving the quality of healthcare in Nigeria. As a well-respected medical practitioner and solution-advocate to the country’s healthcare challenges, Dr. Sulaiman acts as an advisor to Nigerian ministries of health at the state and federal levels.
He is also a member of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA). Currently, he serves prominently as the association’s committee chairs. The committee oversees activities of Nigerian diaspora physicians that want to help advance healthcare provision in Nigeria. Therefore, in this role, he acts as a link between Nigerian healthcare institutions and Nigerian physicians abroad.
Because of his passion for change in Nigeria’s healthcare, Dr. Sulaiman agreed with Ochsner to sacrifice 15 percent of his salary in order to have the flexibility to travel. As a philanthropist, this includes trips to Nigeria is monthly; and it is to enable him perform free surgeries. He began this medical mission to Nigeria in 2010. At the outset, he would come to Nigeria every few months, but now he travels each month and spends 7 to 10 days performing surgeries.
Reportedly, in the past five years, Dr. Sulaiman and his team have performed surgeries on 500 patients as well as screened and provided preventative medicine to 5,000 people. Ochsner supports his efforts by sending supplies overseas with him.
Furthermore, with the vision of “bringing healthcare excellence back to Nigeria”, Dr. Sulaiman founded RNZ Global. He expresses his belief thus:
“There are a tremendous number of brilliant Nigerians in the diaspora who will significantly contribute to raising the standard of healthcare in Nigeria.”–Dr. Wale Sulaiman
RNZ Global is a healthcare Development, Operations and Management Company, which is used as a vehicle to drive strategic improvements in healthcare in Nigeria. At the core of its assignment is educating and empowering Nigerians to raise the standard of healthcare.