Lunch with a Prince

It’s not often that I get to dine with royalty. OK, in fact I’ve never met royalty. Until this week that is when I had lunch with with Marvin Owusu, or Nana Odeneho Osei Kwabena as he is known to his subjects in Ghana.

So where did this royal meet-up occur? In the hospital cafeteria of course! That’s because Marvin works in the Health Information Management department at Nationwide Children’s.

Let me explain….Marvin was born and raised in the African nation of Ghana (which is about the size of Ohio and Indiana put together) where each city has traditional leaders – most often a queen and a chief. These leaders are selected from the descendants of each city’s queen and as the eldest son on his mother’s side of the family, Marvin will be his city’s next Chief. That makes him a prince.

When he becomes Chief, Marvin will be the traditional and spiritual leader for his community providing advice, guiding community decisions and resolving disputes. We agreed he is kind of the Judge Judy for his people. Even the Ghanaian president will consult with Marvin before making decisions that impact his city.

So why is Marvin in Columbus and working with medical records at Nationwide Children’s? He traveled to the US 15 years ago to pursue his education and learn about life in America. He was attracted to Columbus, where more than 18,000 Ghanaians have settled – creating a great community and support system. After finishing his college degree in health information management Marvin was recruited to Children’s where he’s worked for nearly a year.

Even thousands of miles from home Marvin provides advice to his subjects living here in Columbus and is often consulted to provide advice back in Ghana. Marvin, along with other royal leaders in his country, is very dedicated to advancing a better life for his people with a focus on education, industry and healthcare. In fact, Marvin hosted one of his country’s Queens, Nana Yeboah Pene ll; Queen of Chiraa in the Brong-Ahafo Region for a visit to Columbus and the hospital last November. How did I miss that! In fact, Nana Yeboah Pene ll is scheduled to pay a royal visit to Columbus next summer so those who missed her last year will have the opportunity to meet her.

Eventually, Marvin will return to Ghana to assume his role as Chief. He will even have a palace to call home. In the meantime, it’s nice to know that we have royalty here at Nationwide Children’s!

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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