Medical Mission Sisters (MMS) have been a healing presence in Ghana for 70 years! At a December 18th celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the MMS Holy Family Hospital (HFH), Sr. Dr. Fernande Pelletier received an award from the Bishop of Sunyani Diocese, Matthew Kwesi Gyamfi for her presence and service in Ghana.
Fernande was born in Fort Kent, Maine, begun serving at Holy Family Hospital in Berekum, Ghana, in 1961after her Medical studies and her profession of Religious vows as a Medical Mission Sister. Six years later she was transferred to a district medical hospital in Kiri, Zaire, and in 1970 she returned to Berekum, where she worked until her retirement. Ashe served as the hospital’s only doctor, she was called upon to perform everything from surgery to helping with basic sanitary needs. She learned Twi, the local dialect, so she could speak directly to her patients and to the midwives and nurses she trained.
In 1973 Fernande became a Ghanaian citizen. Fernande saw many improvements in medicine, immunization programs, and access to health care in Ghana. She traveled in the hospital’s outreach vehicle to care for those with no access to a doctor in many remote areas. She was very involved with young people and their educational needs. Fernande’s lifetime of service to the sick and poor has been recognized by the Vatican. In 2007 she received a Papal Award from the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana. She also has been awarded the Grand Medal of the Ghanaian government, and the Ghana Medical Association’s Fellowship Award.
Today even in her retirement, she is still recognized and loved by the people in Ghana where she has served all her life and became one with the people. She continues to be a healing presence in all ways possible with all the Medical Mission Sisters in Ghana who continue serving in Medical area and other areas which call for healing, especially with women and children.