American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

2017 Surgical Humanitarianism Award: Robert Cropsey

Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS

Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Ypsilanti, MI, received a Surgical Humanitarian Award for his work in establishing two hospitals and serving the needs of medically underserved patients in the West African country of Togo for the last three decades.

Dr. Cropsey intended from the beginning of his medical career to become a surgeon so that he could live in Africa and offer his services to those in need. After completing his general surgery training at St. Joseph Mercy, Ann Arbor, MI, he went to Togo with his wife and four children to provide care to the medically underserved people of the country. Upon his arrival he collaborated with locals and other medical professionals and missionaries to open the Karolyn Kempton Memorial Christian Hospital (KKMCH) in 1985, working with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. Dr. Cropsey has served as the hospital director, chief of staff, and chief of surgery since KKMCH opened.

KKMCH, known as Hôpital Baptiste Biblique to the Togolese, is several hours from Togo’s capital, Lomé, and situated deep in the jungle near the border of Ghana. As the only major medical center in a remote location, the 50-bed facility admits more than 3,000 patients annually, serving neighboring Ghana and Benin, as well. In addition to an adult intensive care unit (ICU), pediatric ICU, ultrasound rooms, and isolation rooms, the hospital has two operating rooms (ORs) that are capable of supporting most major operations. More than 1,250 operations are performed at KKMCH each year, including hernia, high-risk obstetric, soft-tissue infection, traumatic injury, and pediatric procedures.

KKMCH also trains medical students and surgical residents, and Dr. Cropsey and the hospital administration are working with the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) to begin a five-year residency program to train local surgeons. The hospital recently started a $10 million expansion project that will double the number of beds and increase the capacity of all health care services.

In 2005, Dr. Cropsey and KKMCH were invited to open a hospital in Mango, a remote community in northern Togo lacking modern health care. Over the next 10 years, Dr. Cropsey traveled between Togo and the U.S. to plan, coordinate, fundraise for, lay out, and build the first real medical center in the area—the Hospital of Hope. When the Hospital of Hope opened in 2015, thousands of patients who were previously unable to receive care came to the hospital, and it has since remained busy. Other services available through the medical center include community health education, mobile clinics, and community development services.

Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS

Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS
Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS