Haitian Christian Mission, 2017 INMED Humanitarian Crisis Response Award Recipient

March 17th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Global Health News & Inspiration|

This award recognizes individuals and organizations who that provide exemplary disaster response services for highly vulnerable communities. In doing so, they accentuate the value of life and provide an exemplary model for us all.


On the morning of October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti with winds of 145 miles per hour – the first Category 4 storm to strike Haiti since 1964. Haitian Christian Mission’s Hopital Christ Pour Tous opened in 1981, was already in preparation mode. Immediately following the storm, Edwens Prophete, HCM CEO, and Angie Schuber, Chief Development Officer, made a rapid assessment of emergency needs. Clean water sources were flooded, and so a new well was dug and medical services for anticipated cholera treatment were implemented. Meanwhile, HCM’s ongoing CDC-recognized HIV care clinics, and HCM’s peanut butter nutritional assistance were continued. Through it all, medical director Dr. Deiunord prayed with his patients and reminded the entire Haitian staff, “Why we do what we do.”


Vicki Hicks, 2017 INMED International Healthcare Preceptor Award Recipient

March 10th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Global Health News & Inspiration|

The INMED International Healthcare Preceptor Award is offered to an individual who has made an important impact in training of the next generation of international medical volunteers. Through their instruction and their role modeling, the award winners listed below have demonstrated that indeed every life matters.


Vicki Hicks, RN MSN, entered international service via trips through Village Presbyterian Church and Mercy & Truth Medical Missions. Vicki, who has been teaching nursing at Kansas University Medical Center, next became inspired to create similar opportunities for her students, and for some twenty-five years KU nursing students have enjoyed these formative experiences. Just months ago, she facilitated twenty-three students to experience healthcare in Guatemala, Gulu -Uganda, CMC Vellore – India, palliative care in Belgium, and refugee health here in Kansas City through Jewish Vocational Services and Catholic Charities. Throughout, Vicki emphasizes a population-based approach to understanding health needs, as well as a sustainable partnership approach to meeting these needs.


Juli McGowan Boit, 2017 INMED National Healthcare Service Award Recipient

March 3rd, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Global Health News & Inspiration|

Many health care professionals within their own nations are sacrificing personal comfort in order to care for their neglected neighbors. The award winners listed below are role models in providing health care for their own people.


The 2017 INMED National Healthcare Service Award Recipient is Juli McGowan Boit. Juli lives a life of international compassion. This began with a month-long trip to Kenya in 2000 with her nursing school; one that filled her with a calling to serve the people in East Africa. “My eyes were opened to poverty in a new way, and not just the hard things about Africa, but also really beautiful things,” says Juli. In 2004, she moved to Kenya to work as a nurse practitioner, and in 2009 she founded Living Room Ministries – a place that offers dignity and whole person – physical, emotional, spiritual – care to those battling life-threatening illnesses like HIV/AIDS, and an alternative for the sick or dying who are ostracized by their communities and families.


UN’s Disabled Syrian Refugee Specialist Opens The INMED Conference

February 24th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


“We Kurds are a persecuted people, condemned for centuries by foreign lords,” proclaims Iraqi Kurdish attorney Lawand Talal. “So when Syrians fleeing utter terror from ISIS arrive at our borders how can we not but respond with compassion? We know exactly their plight,” explained Lawand to me on location last year in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Compassion is at the center of his professional life. Lawand abandoned a lucrative career in the private practice of law to instead join the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of behalf of Syrians and internally displaced Iraqis searching for asylum. Refugees include the normal spectrum of humanity. Some are pregnant, extremely young, chronically diseased. Disabled Syrian refugees are Lawand’s particular specialty, bring to bear the principles of international law and justice on behalf of those afflicted by cerebral palsy, learning disorders, schizophrenia, paraplegia; in short, those people who are the very least capable of defending themselves.


We are extremely privileged to welcome Lawand Talal to give the opening address and set the tone for this year’s Humanitarian Health Conference. Please join us, and be inspired!


Who Is Chairman of Family Medicine At Hainan University, China?

February 17th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


Today I’m writing from Thailand, where humanitarian health leaders from all over Asia gathered for analysis and re-equipping. Included among the participants are several INMED graduates engaged in healthcare on this continent, including Timothy Stephens.


Dr. Stephens was part of INMED’s very first graduating class: 2004-05. And since then? Beyond mastering Mandarin and fathering three children, Tim and his wife have invested ten years living and serving on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. Simultaneously, China has undergone a massive transformation in healthcare policy to emphasize primary care – much like the United States in the 1990s. This requires a similar refitting of Chinese medical education. From where will China find the academics to produce their new cadre of family physicians? Let me introduce Timothy Stephens, Chairman of Family Medicine at Hainan University!


Comfort For Suffering That Medicine Won’t Fix

February 10th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“I like giving patients medicine that will help them. I like draining pleural effusions, seeing the fluid run out, and people breathing easier again. I like setting broken bones. I like delivering healthy babies. I do not like problems I can’t solve. I hate suffering that medicine won’t fix,” says Rebekah Rose, INMED International Medicine & Public Health Course Graduate. Since completing this learning experience December, Rebekah has been applying it “on the field” in Papua New Guinea. See the earlier INMED blog post about Rebekah from December 30, 2016.


Rebekah continues, “Figuring out patients’ medical problems and treating them is rewarding, but even more precious than all the procedures, prescriptions, and the solved puzzles is to have with patients open their hearts to me and to let me be God‘s vessel to comfort them and give them hope… I am not particularly good with words and I’m not exceptionally holy. And yet people invite me into their pain and fears, make themselves vulnerable to me. The most amazing thing I have seen here so far is the changed look in a person’s face when God has reached out and comforted them.”


INMED Distinctives: Field Experience

February 3rd, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You, INMED Grads In Action|


Asena Madison, pictured second from the left, is presently serving in Ghana at Ankaase Methodist Hospital – an experience demanding astute skills in unusual diseases of poverty, complicated obstetric problems, and cross-cultural dilemmas. You remember Asena, don’t you? In my post dated January 2oth she’s pictured among the graduates of INMED’s comprehensive International Medicine & Public Health Course offered at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.


Asena Madison’s journey brings to light one of INMED’s proudest distinctions: the essential nature of supervised field experience. A student can excel in mastering facts and in analyzing questions from a distance. But the best test of ability – and most ideal crucible for molding that ability – is found is practical experiences that call upon learners like Asena to apply her foundation of facts and analytical abilities for the benefit of those whom she serve – whether in Richmond, Virginia, or in Ghana, West Africa.


RNs Are Welcome in the Premier INMED Course

January 27th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


No name is a perfect reflection on the substance of an organization. GE makes more the light bulbs. NASA goes far beyond launching rockets. Similarly, INMED – the Institute for International Medicine – offers opportunities beyond curative healthcare and not simply for those in the medical profession.


An important example: RNs are welcome in the premier INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course. This learning opportunity equips RNs with the essential concepts, knowledge and skills to be well prepared for the very unique challenges of serving people of very diverse world views, and under circumstances where resources are uncomfortably deficient. The INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course is offered on Dates & Locations many times each year throughout the US and China.


Indeed, no name is a perfect reflection on the character of a person or entity. It’s the content within that defines one. Define yourself through attributes of intentional compassion and action on behalf of those who are poor, orphaned, sick, alone, afraid, abandoned, and in search of refuge.


INMED’s First Graduates From Virginia Commonwealth University

January 20th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Global Health News & Inspiration|


Richmond is the home of many firsts in Virginia history: In 1609 John Smith and company established Jamestown. In 1740 the First Great Awakening broke out in the city. Here in 1862 the USS Monitor clashed with the CSS Virginia (aka, Merrimac). Also in Richmond, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University, INMED graduated the first class of International Medicine & Public Health students in the state.


From where came the inspiration to offer such an opportunity? Scott Armistead, standing to the left rear in this photo. I first met Scott in 1991 when he was a family medicine resident at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Scott particularly impressed me with his gentle and strong spirit, and wholehearted commitment to remote people. Three years later Scott and his family moved to United Arab Emirates and then onward to Pakistan, where for the next twenty years they gave of themselves in healthcare and education.


Now on faculty at the VCU College of Medicine, Scott Armistead’s naturally magnetic persona rapidly drew students and colleagues to be inspired by his vision and lifestyle. In February, he leads the seven of them on a month-long service-learning experience in Ghana. And what better preparation than the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course!


Nutrition Triage In Haiti

January 13th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“Almost 100 families showed up for nutritional screening,” describes Matt Giesbrecht. “Most of the families came from remote and very poor areas. It was amazing to see their eagerness when food was served. Survival instinct kicked in as these little ones guarded their bowls. So much to be thankful for!”


Matt Giesbrecht is an RN from California who has been living in Oriani, Ouest, Haiti, for the last year. I first met Matt in Fort Worth as he was completing the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Course. Coincidently the very first lesson in this course is assessment and management of nutritional disorders.


Matt continues, “We only took children in the ‘red’ zone on this first day. Many more children were given return cards for next week. It was simply too busy to treat everyone. The red zone is the most serious level of malnutrition on the scale. Tomorrow, we will take 6 of the children down to Port in the ambulance for emergency nutrition stabilization.” Great work, Matt!