Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami was born in Nigeria before immigrating to the US with his family at a young age. He bounced from coast to coast attending High School at Deerfield Academy before going to Stanford University for his undergraduate education. He majored in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities for PreMedical students while also running Track & Field all four years. He captained the team his last two seasons, achieving Academic All American recognition. He then earned his M.D from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before matching into Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Yale.
At the beginning of his 3rd year he suffered a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the chest down. After two surgeries at Yale and several months of intense inpatient rehabilitation in Chicago, he was blessed with some return of motor function and moved back to South Bend, Indiana to be with his family and continue outpatient rehabilitation. It was then that he decided to join the ESTEEM Program, working with Custom Orthopedic Solutions and Cleveland Clinic Innovations on his Capstone Thesis, a medical device designed to improve safety and accuracy of pedicle screw placement in spine surgery.
While completing his Masters, he returned to work as a physician, and is now a Family Medicine Resident at Memorial Hospital while also serving as a member of the St. Joseph County Board of Health, appointed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He serves as the Vice President of the River City Challenged Athletes, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the adaptive sports teams in the area – coaching the River City Rollers Wheelchair Basketball team and playing on the Sled Rovers Sled Hockey Team. He has been invited to give speeches, speak on panels, and teach courses in a variety of settings ranging from elementary schools and colleges to medical school classes and weddings. His passion is providing individuals with disabilities the resources and opportunities to live fulfilling, productive and active lives despite whatever physical limitations they may have. He firmly believes that being disabled does not mean that one is unable.
ESTEEM helped him with this, connecting him with medical device companies, many of which he is still in touch with today, helping to develop products to help individuals with disabilities life more independently. He has also continued to work with a variety of startups and tech companies in order to achieve his other goal of improving the access to and delivery of healthcare around the world, using technology. He has an energetic five year old named Alexander Oyedeji and attends the Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal Church in South Bend, Indiana.