During the week, Professor Daniel Ampomah, PhD, RN, NE-BC, teaches at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Arlington campus, guiding students who are in their last semesters of nursing school.
On the weekends, his voice travels around the globe as he shares health information through his talk show on Ghana Tourist Coach Radio.
Every Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., from the studios in Alexandria, Virginia, Dr. Ampomah hosts a segment called “Your Health Is Your Wealth.”
Like him, many of his listeners are members of the large Ghanaian community in Northern Virginia. The show is also streamed online, attracting an audience from across the United States and even all the way to Africa.
During his broadcast, Dr. Ampomah discusses health-related topics that are of universal concern – such as the flu – and also ones that are specific to his community.
“I come from Ghana,” he said. “The biggest issue that affects us the most is hypertension. It’s a killer in the Ghanaian community. Ghanaians’ eating habits are not the best, and then when we come to the U.S., we also have lifestyle changes. Diabetes is also common. These are two major, major disease processes that are endemic to my community.”
The show allows Dr. Ampomah another opportunity to play what he sees as the central role of nurses: to touch the hearts of individuals and help make their lives better.
Finding His Calling
Nursing wasn’t the first career path for Dr. Ampomah, even though he has a family connection, his aunt having been the CNO for the biggest military hospital in Ghana.
Instead, he initially earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.
“When I got to the U.S., I changed course. My brother had a turn and he had to go through certain things. The people who made his life better were the nurses. Even though my background was in chemistry, I had a change of heart because of the compassion and care that nurses bring to the table.”
Dr. Ampomah went on to earn BSN, MSN and PhD degrees in nursing from George Mason University.
He began his nursing career on an oncology floor at Inova Mount Vernon hospital. His nursing background and research interest include nursing administration, pain management and nursing education in developing countries.
Today, besides teaching at Chamberlain and hosting the radio show, he also works as a clinical administrative director on a PRN basis.
Sharing His Knowledge
It was while he was working in the hospital that Dr. Ampomah got the inspiration for his community education efforts.
“I’ve worked in a hospital setting where the ED doctor would call me and say, ‘Dr. Ampomah, we have one of your folks here with high blood pressure or someone from Ghana or Africa with kidney problems.’
“It got to me that something needed to be done,” he said. “It’s not about having the knowledge and keeping it to yourself.”
Dr. Ampomah began sharing that knowledge by giving presentations on hypertension, diabetes and other important health topics at African churches in Virginia. He knew he was on to something when his inbox began filling with requests from local ministers for more and more presentations.
Then, about two years ago, he was approached by representatives of the radio station about the possibility of hosting a health-related segment. Dr. Ampomah realized this could be the opportunity to reach an even larger number of people. Today, on any given Sunday, he’ll have up to 7,000 listeners.
Although he makes it clear that his presentation is not meant to diagnose any specific medical condition, Dr. Ampomah finds a lot of satisfaction in knowing that he is providing his listeners with information that they can take and use to make their lives better.
“It’s my passion,” he said. “I love what I’m doing.”
By Danielle Logacho
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