Dr. Olubunmi Okanlami learns the lesson every day that life does not always turn out as planned.
There is the baby born too soon, the healthy toddler suddenly brain-injured after a fall, or a teenager paralyzed from a car accident. And along with these medically fragile children, there are families who simply need a break at times from the ventilators, the suction machines, the trach tubes—the constant, critical care of a sick child.
Olubunmi (EMBA ’08), whose name in the Nigerian language of Yoruba providentially means, “God’s gift to me,” is a one of the founding members of O’Hana Heritage Foundation, an organization committed to serving medically fragile children. In 2010, O’Hana opened A Rosie Place, Indiana’s first licensed not-for-profit specialty hospital dedicated exclusively to caring for these children and families.
Parents of children who depend on round-the-clock, complex medical care can bring them to this homey yet state-of-the-art facility in South Bend for a week or weekend, based on need.
“Bunmi,” who serves as the medical director of Memorial Children’s Hospital’s pediatric ICU, says she added the Executive MBA to her medical degrees so that she could better understand the business side of the foundation. The dedicated doctor is unassuming about her role in caring for her many patients. “I have seen situations where children have died, in spite of my best efforts, and where children have lived, even when my efforts didn’t seem like enough,” she says. “You get humbled that in life, anything is possible.”
For more information on A Rosie Place, visit arosieplace.org