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Heroes Among Us



In October we were privileged to present the INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Awards at the annual Cross-Cultural Healthcare Symposium. The point of these awards is to recognize the heroes among us who both model and teach this virtue of service.


The INMED Cross-Cultural Leadership Award recognizes one who has made significant leadership contributions to bridging cultural gaps in healthcare services and has set an example for other leaders to emulate. The 2012 INMED Cross-Cultural Leadership Award recipient is Carla Gibson, nominated by Kansas City community directors in recognition of her leadership in reducing health disparities through increasing cross-cultural competency in the greater Kansas City Area. Her. Carla Gibson is the Program Officer for the REACH Foundation. Since 1991 she has proven her commitment to improving the health of the poor and underserved through her work at Charles Drew Health Center, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Swope Health Services, and the Kansas City Free Health Clinic. In 2008, she introduced a Cultural Competency Initiative that aims to improve cultural competence in health services in the region with a long-term goal of eliminating health disparities. The initiative has provided nearly 20 health and human service organizations with technical assistance to improve their knowledge and skills in this field, and strengthen their services to diverse populations.


The INMED Cross-Cultural Service Award recognizes one who demonstrates care and concern for cultural diverse communities and who gives selflessly of time and resources for their benefit. The 2012 INMED Cross-Cultural Service Award recipient is Ran Poudel, nominated by and in recognition of his service to the Bhutanese Community in the Greater Kansas City Area. He was the one of the first Bhutanese refugees to arrive in KC, learning for himself all the difficult pathways that refugees must take. Fortunately, he was a school teacher and had some English skills. He joined Catholic Charities as a refugee community liaison, provided countless hours of volunteer service helping Bhutanese find jobs, get driver’s licenses, deal with family crises, and interact with US agencies. When asked whom they most trust to help them in a crisis, repeatedly Bhutanese people respond, “Ran Poudel”. He is constantly stepping into the gap to serve the community – an expression, he says, of the central tenets of his relationship with God.

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