2015 INMED Butterfield United States Public Health Class

June 26th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on 2015 INMED Butterfield United States Public Health Class

2015 Butterfield INMED US Public Health Class


Introducing the 2015 INMED Butterfield United States Public Health Class. Throughout June and July these learners are participating in the INMED United States Public Health Hybrid Course, with their daily service-learning clinical experience at Oklahoma City Christian safety net clinics: Good Shepherd Clinic, Open Arms Clinic, and Crossing Community Clinic. The academic subjects INMED provides include the weighty ones of Community and Personal Health Assessment, Cross-Cultural Skills, Immigrant Health, Health Literacy, Community Development, Mental Health/Substance Abuse, Spiritual Care, Healthcare Systems, and Financing Healthcare.


This learning experience will qualify them to receive to INMED United States Public Health Diploma. The Butterfield Memorial Foundation in Oklahoma City provides financial support for this opportunity as part of their initiative to inspire a growing number of healthcare students to seriously consider career service to marginalized people. Are you considering a similar calling? INMED would be pleased to speak with you.

Fred Loper – 2015 INMED National Healthcare Service Award Recipient

June 19th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Fred Loper – 2015 INMED National Healthcare Service Award Recipient

Nicholas Comninellis, Fred Loper, and Elizabeth Burgos

Nicholas Comninellis, Fred Loper, and Elizabeth Burgos


As a medical student at the University of Oklahoma, Fred Loper was recruited to help start Good Shepherd Clinic in Oklahoma City – a ministry launched after a homeless man had his wound stitched by a bartender in a local tavern because people thought he had no where else to go for treatment. That formative event set the direction for Dr. Loper’s entire career. Following graduation, Dr. Loper proceeded to lead the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship, facilitating healthcare in multiple nations, including Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ghana, and Cuba.


Since 2012 Dr. Loper has again made his home in Oklahoma City where he is also again at the helm of Good Shepherd Clinic. This comprehensive outpatient center provides medical and dental care that includes prevention, acute illness, and continuity care for low-income, un- and under- insured people throughout central Oklahoma.

Meredith Jackson RN – 2015 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient

June 12th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Meredith Jackson RN – 2015 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient

jackson-meredithThis INMED award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to health in developing nations. The award winners have demonstrated uncommon dedication and endurance in pursuit of this cause, and have included Cindy Obenhaus RN, Bruce Steffes MD, Joe LeMaster MPH, and Cathy Hoelzer PA.


The 2015 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient is Meredith Jackson, RN, MA. Since 2003 Meredith has partnered with Kansas City-based Medical Missions Foundation, and Medical Aid to Children of Latin America (MACLA), to provide surgical specialty care via her twenty-eight trips to Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Mani and Uganda. She brings her special qualifications in human resources, pre-op and post-op care, and vascular access to those in these developing nations, as well as at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital. To nurses considering similar service, Meredith Jackson advises “Jump in and do it. There is usually a role for a nurse with any background who is open to adapting to whatever skill is needed.”


Gary Morsch – 2015 INMED Compassionate Service To Humanity Award Recipient

June 5th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Gary Morsch – 2015 INMED Compassionate Service To Humanity Award Recipient



“Would serving people in serious need help to fulfill my life?” is a question frequently posed to Gary Morsch. He replies, “People really do want to help one another, but they often don’t know how to do it.” Dr. Morsch has invested his entire life in assisting people discover just how. In 1993 he organized the first Physicians With Heart airlift of goodwill medical supplies to the new Russian Federation. Heart to Heart International grew out of that initiative to become one of today’s leading global humanitarian organizations, providing disaster assistance, healthcare supplies, and primary medical care in Haiti, Nepal, and the United States.


Recognizing and partnering with Gary Morsch and those of similar caliber is one of the most heartening privileges of serving with the Institute for International Medicine. Since 2008 he and other INMED Service Award recipients continue to be honored and exemplified.


South Sudan Dream Fulfilled

May 29th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on South Sudan Dream Fulfilled



The most recent INMED Blog post from May 22 describes the remarkable journey of Sara Granville, 2009 INMED Diploma graduate, who recently began serving in South Sudan. But there is more to this heartwarming story that will intrigue you…


The 2013 INMED International Medicine Award recipient was Cathy Hoelzer, a physician assistant who also serves in rugged South Sudan’s largest refugee camp as the SIM Health Program Manager. Cathy contacted us at INMED last year asking if INMED could assist her to recruit colleagues. INMED enjoys a large network of qualified individuals, but had no direct response to this Cathy’s particular appeal. Cathy Hoelzer just wrote again, however, to say that INMED Graduate Sara Granville is actually working alongside her in South Sudan.


What I find most inspiring about this account is the similar heart attitudes of Cathy, Sara, and many of our other colleagues who of their own volition seek out opportunities to serve formerly forsaken people the world over.


“Greetings from South Sudan!”

May 22nd, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on “Greetings from South Sudan!”

granville-sara“Greetings from South Sudan!  I just wanted to send you a thank you for your thoughts and prayers…” Sara Granville is physician assistant from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In 2009 Sara earned the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Diploma. This formative experience included a month of service learning at Clinica Evangelica Morava, INMED’s Training Site in eastern Honduras.


Following graduation from UNMC Sara expanded her vision to service one of the most desperate populations on earth. South Sudan, tragically, has been embroiled in civil conflict for decades. The current war escalated in December, 2013, creating waves of displaced people, cholera epidemics, some 2.5 million people lacking food security, and suspected resurgence of polio.


Ongoing uncertainty is one of the realities of providing care amid such unrest. Sara writes from her city, “Doro has been safe and has always felt safe. Praise God that He is in control of all governments…  Praise Him that everything is calm in Doro.  Please pray for me to trust God with everything–language learning, possessions, medical decisions, friendships. And pray for the people–they have been through a lot of hurt.  Many turn to alcohol (which they make from their sorghum rations) to ease their hunger and pain. Pray for the men especially to turn to Jesus and to be leaders in their families.”

Can You Solve This Case Of Malnutrition?

May 15th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Can You Solve This Case Of Malnutrition?



The two-year old child in this photo presents to your health center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Family members explain that eight months ago their farm was attacked by bandits. No one in the family, including this child named Aamir, has eaten regularly since then. What’s more, Aamir in recent days has developed fever, diarrhea and lethargy.


On initial physical examination you note that Aamir is poorly responsive to stimulation. His temperature is thirty-eight degrees C, respirations are thirty per minute, pulse is ninety, and blood pressure is unobtainable. He has extreme muscle wasting throughout and loss of adipose tissue but no peripheral edema. Aamir’s measurement of mid-arm circumference and skin fold thickness are well below the norms. Your diagnosis is marasmus.


Your FIRST priority in the management of this child with acute protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is which ONE of the following:


A Treatment of coexisting fever and diarrheal illnesses
B Provision of high-concentration protein supplement
C Administration of micronutrient supplements
D Immediate refeeding
E Correction of hydration and acid-base alterations


Explanation: The correct answer is E. The management of acute PEM can be separated into two stages. The first stage is stabilization, to immediately correct hydration and acid-base alterations. The second stage is refeeding. This can begin as soon as medical problems are reasonably stable and rehydration is complete. It may be necessary to begin initial refeeding slowly in persons who have advanced PEM or kwashiorkor because of damage to the intestinal mucosa. During the period of renutrition, micronutrient supplements and attention to any coexisting medical illnesses may also be indicated.


Ten days later, Aamir, is alert and being fed F-100 – a 100 kcal/100 ml formula made from concentrated milk powder, food oil, and dextrin. During the coming weeks your care of this malnourished child will include which ONE of the following:


A Vitamin A supplementation
B Nutrition education to avoid legumes
C Removal of hookworms from feet
D Avoidance of vitamin C
E Provision locally mined salt


Explanation: The correct answer is A. The mainstay of therapy is continued administration of high energy, high protein food. Children of this age should also receive Vitamin A supplementation from prevention of xerophthalmia. Legumes are an important source of energy, though they may be deficient in iron. Hookworm initially penetrate the feet but reside in the intestines, requiring oral treatment. Vitamin C is important to aid in iron absorption. Non-commercially produced salt is unlikely to contain iodine supplement, contributing to iodine deficiency.


Would you like to take action on behalf of children like Aamir? Begin by arming yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills and experience though one of INMED numerous opportunities, including a supervised learning experience with one of our mentors in twenty-five developing nations. Be prepared when you care for a child like Aamir.

Who Are Our Neighbors?

May 8th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Who Are Our Neighbors?



This week’s post-earthquake turmoil in Nepal is provoking some soul searching among the Nepali living in the United States, asking What is our responsibility to assist? Many of us who are well-resourced but not ethnically Nepali are nonetheless asking similar questions.


This image of the Good Samaritan is one I photo in the lobby of the Lubango Evangelical Medical Center, INMED’s Training Site in Angola, southern Africa. That morning the staff of our small medical center met together as Pastor Moses opened his Bible to Luke chapter 10 and read, “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ replied Jesus. ‘How do you read it?’ The expert answered, ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.’” ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'”


Pastor Moses motioned just outside the door, where some 100 people awaited their medical consultations. He then pointed to the hospital ward and maternity, where 50 more were already receiving life-sustaining attention. “Today,” declared Pastor Moses, “we enjoy the privilege of compassionate care for these, our neighbors.” I’ve no doubt that were he speaking of the Nepali Pastor Moses’ message would be unchanged.

Changing Course From Kansas To Brazil

May 1st, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Changing Course From Kansas To Brazil

whitton-dale-originalDale Whittom and his wife Lisa participated in the 2014 Exploring Medical Missions Conference (EMMC) and ended up moving to Brazil. They didn’t see it coming, either. “My wife’s a nurse practitioner and I’m an EMT. We have served on a number of short-term medical trips to Central America,” says Dale, “but never considered any large investment of our careers. That is until we met Oscar Paulo – the Brazilian/Angola physician who spoke at the Conference. Oscar prompted us to step up our commitment, and now I’m convinced that God can use almost anyone of any age as long as they are willing.”


Soon after the 2014 Conference Dale and Lisa followed with Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International, a sending organization who exhibited at the event. “BMDMI connected us with a clinic is the Brazilian city of Forteleza, which will be our new home. Right now we’re deep into learning the national language of Portuguese, and updating some of the skills we learned at the Conference, like how to manage birth complications and care for open wounds.” Dale concludes, “We’ve become some of those Sticks In A Bundle; Unbreakable and doing what God’s laid on our hearts.”

Whatever I Have To Offer In Congo

April 24th, 2015 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off on Whatever I Have To Offer In Congo



Marta Klein is a physician assistant from Salina, Kansas, who in the fall of 2013 joined INMED for the International Medicine & Public Health Intensive Course. Since 2010 she is a volunteer with the Evangelical Covenant Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Marta writes, “I have training that is supposed to help, but sometimes there is little physically that can be done. For me, that is really a tough one. For example, my HIV positive patient has horrible pain from metastatic breast cancer, another man who for six months has had an open leg fracture and will need amputation, and a thirteen-year old boy only now coming for care with such profound malnutrition that he weighs just 12 kg.”


I think the negativity, despair, and suffering could become too overpowering for me,” writes Marta Klein. “So there are many moments when I internally raise my hands to God and ask for mercy and wisdom. I also offer to pray with my patients. And I try to find moments to savor, like enjoying the sweet perfume as I pass by the Plumeria tree by my apartment. I also especially enjoy teaching the nursing student here in Congo. If you are a healthcare professional – doctor, nurse, mid-level, dentist, physical therapist – please contact Paul Carlson Partnership for ways you can be involved. If you have any inkling to teach what you have gained through your career I especially encourage you to reach out and share what you know!