Changing Of Heart Towards Refugees?

August 27th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in Disaster Management|


Are Americans experiencing a change of heart towards refugees? Since Aug 16, we’ve witnessed with dismay the immediate Taliban return to power in Afghanistan. We’ve viewed with horror the carnage of airport suicide bombings. We’ve peered inside the crammed compartment of giant Air Force planes evacuating Afghans. Has any of this touched American hearts?


Yes, it appears to be true. A CBS News Poll conducted August 18-20, 2021, posed the question “Do you think the US is doing too much, not enough, or about the right amount, to help Afghan people who are trying to leave Afghanistan?” 14% said Too Much. 27% said The Right Amount. And 59% – almost 2 out of every 3 Americans – responded Not Enough. Refugee resettlement agencies throughout the nation are suddenly reactivating, rehiring, and reequipping to accommodate tens of thousands of foreigners.


This survey suggests a heartening embrace of humanity, an affirmation of all human life – even lives that are very different from our own. Mahatma Gandhi’s statement is timely: “Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.” The Afghan people are some of the poorest and weakest. May our invitation to them prove to be genuinely useful.


As these persons begin arriving in our country, will our invitation next be followed up with genuine assistance and encouragement? The Levitical scriptures declares, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” The Afghan people are some of the world’s most mistreated. May our extension of friendship towards them prove to be heart-felt.


Actions steps: Watch TEDx Talk International Refugee Care. Take INMED’s International Refugee Care Course. Volunteer with a US Refugee Resettlement Agency.


Afghanistan Heightens Worldwide Refugee Crisis

August 20th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in International Public Health|


“Turbulence in Afghanistan – people fleeing their homes from the Taliban – is already provoking worldwide migration,” report my colleagues at the United Nations. “Like a ripply effect, desperate human beings running for their borders provoke greater insecurity among vulnerable people in neighboring nations, who in turn flee for safety. These ripples are becoming a flood around the globe.”


At this moment, 80 millions people – the population of Germany – are living as refugees  in other nations. These are the worlds most endangered people, usually traveling without money, documents, friends, nor a clear destination. We at INMED as especially concerned over the plight of international refugees, and our Training Sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan provide refugee care. Would you like to become involved in care of international refugees? This Early Fall Term, INMED is offering our International Refugee Care Course – a two credit hour graduate level learning experience preparing you to serve with excellence amid in our complex, compelling worldwide refugee crisis.


Healthcare for Marginalized Americans

August 13th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in International Public Health|

Mother and children during the Great Depression. Elm Grove, Oklahoma, USA.


Many people live on the margins of United States society due to race, language, ethnicity, income, immigration status, and more. The United States is distinct from other developed countries in that there is no single national health care system that provides access for all its inhabitants. Also notable in the US is the relative lack of attention to social needs that are so vital to health. As a result, marginalized people are frequently unable to access essential health care.


Beginning Monday, Aug 16, INMED is offering the Healthcare for Marginalized Americans Course. This course explores the complex patchwork of ingredients which comprise United States health care systems, with special attention its deficiencies for marginalized people. The profound impact of social determinants of health are examined. Health resources are evaluated. Obstacles to care are identified, along with “work around” solutions commonly used by marginalized people. Existing and potential solutions to the healthcare dilemma for US marginalized people are explored. Course participants are challenged to advocate for a more equitable US health care system.


Healthcare for Marginalized Americans is taught by Dr. Fred Loper of Good Shepherd Ministries Medical Clinic in Oklahoma City. This graduate-level course includes 8 weeks of structured learning, and weekly virtual class with the faculty. This course is open to all healthcare professionals and healthcare profession students, and is especially appropriate for public health personnel, public leaders and policymakers, social workers, and those providing primary health care.


What’s Your Best Preparation For A Global Health Career?

July 30th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


How can you best prepare yourself for an effective and satisfying career in global health? I believe that the single strongest credential is field experience under the guidance of watchful, qualified supervisors. In this way, you can refine both your professional skills serving low income or cross-cultural people, and your personal skills necessary to thrive under often difficult circumstances. But before such a field experience, your supervisors will expect you to be well prepared!


The INMED Professional Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) will prepare you with excellence to benefit marginalized people by cultivating skills in epidemiology, diseases of poverty, maternal newborn health, international public health, cross-cultural care, disaster management, health leadership, healthcare education, and research and quality improvement. The MIH is a 32-credit hour program consisting of CoursesInternational Service-Learning, and a Scholarly Project. Courses next begin on August 16.


What will the MIH cost you? Control is very important to us at INMED, and the tuition is just $272 per credit hour, bringing the total degree to $8704. The only additional costs are travel expenses associated with your international Service-Learning. The entire degree may be completed in as short as one year, and will qualify you for competitive global health positions in patient care, research, teaching, and leadership. What more questions do you have? Visit the MIH FAQs, message [email protected], or call 816-444-6400, as you equip yourself for an effective and satisfying career in global health!

Who Is The 2021 International Healthcare Preceptor Award Recipient?

July 23rd, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in Healthcare Education|


This award recognizes individuals who are making an important impact in training of the next generation of international healthcare volunteers. Through their instruction and their role modeling, award recipients express the value of each individual.


The 2021 International Healthcare Preceptor Award recipient is David Culpepper, MD. Dr. Culpepper is an internist and Point of Care Ultrasound Fellow with Ultrasound Leadership Academy. Armed with a professional Degree in Pharmacy, he trained at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, he is certified in echocardiography and internal medicine, holds a Fellowship in the American College of Physicians,  and practiced general internal medicine and hospital medicine for three decades.


Dr. Culpepper has provided volunteer medical services to marginalized people in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Romania, Kenya, and refugees on the Greek Island of Lesvos. His professional passion is teaching point of care ultrasound skills to those serving around the world in low-resource communities, and since 20015 Dr. Culpepper has taught the INMED Professional Certificate Course in Ultrasound for Primary Care.

Smallpox Versus Covid-19 – What Should We Learn?

July 16th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in International Public Health|


I have a small scar on my left arm – a reminder of the smallpox pandemic that killed as many as three out of every 10 people infected and claimed the lives of some 300 million people since 1900. The smallpox vaccination left this small scar. But today, younger persons have no such scar. Why not?


The vaccine against smallpox proved to be extraordinarily effective. And, the intensive, worldwide vaccination campaign was so successful that the World Health Organization certified global eradication of the disease in 1980. No existing smallpox virus meant no longer any need to continue vaccination.


Now, smallpox disease and prevention are not identical to COVID-19. Nevertheless, what pearls can be gleaned from smallpox history and applied to the COVID-19 pandemic? For one, the remarkable effectiveness of certain vaccines. Those currently available in North America are more than 90% effective in preventing serious disease. Another pearl is the power of worldwide resolve to vaccinate all persons. This strategy has worked for smallpox, measles, pertussis, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic will not be controlled until everyone is protected. With the coming fall season and greater indoor activities, unvaccinated persons will be at especially high risk.


Suspicion and disinformation ‘plague’ the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination. These obstacles are not new. They obstructed the eradication of smallpox at every corner. But seeing the proof of vaccine effectiveness is as easy to see as looking at your arm. You have no smallpox vaccination scar because the vaccination worked!

Who Received The 2021 Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award?

July 9th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

The 2021 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award recipient is Martha B. Baird PhD, APRN/CNS-BC, CTN-A. Dr. Baird recently retired from the University of Kansas Medical Center as an associate clinical professor after 43 years in practice and teaching. She holds advanced certification as a psychiatric mental health nurse specialist and as a transcultural nurse. Dr. Baird’s Journey in cross-cultural healthcare was marked early on with 10 years of service in the Haitian Villages in the Dominican Republic.


Building upon that early experience, Dr. Baird’s research has focused on the health of immigrant and refugee populations, including African refugees from South Sudan. In 2013-2014 she participated in the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma: Global Mental Health and in 2018 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Uganda where she taught theory and research methods to graduate nursing students at Uganda Christian University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of a refugee resettlement program in Kansas City, Missouri, the Jewish Vocational Services,. Dr. Baird continues to share her influence through the Transcultural Nursing Society.

Who Won The 2021 National Healthcare Service Award?

July 2nd, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|

Many health care professionals within their own nations are sacrificing personal comfort in order to care for their neglected neighbors. The award recipients are role models in providing health care for their own people. The 2021 INMED National Healthcare Service Award recipient is Jordan Crawford, PA-C. Jordan is a graduate of the Kanakuk Institute and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant program, and the INMED Professional Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health.


Since 2018, he has served in family medical care at Hope Family Care Center in Kansas City’s urban core, located at 31st Street and Prospect Avenue. When asked about what personally motivates him to promote healthcare for marginalized people, Jordan replies, “My motivation comes directly from my faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to what I believe God calls all Christians to: serving the least of these as Christ did. This includes the orphans, the widows, the poor, the marginalized, and whoever our neighbor happens to be. This isn’t limited to socioeconomic class, but it is that class of individuals who are at greater risk for death, disease, injustice, and inequity.”

INMED Spotlight: Michael Schick, MIH Master’ Degree Grad

June 18th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|

The MIH Master’s Degree program is INMED’s premier endeavor to prepare healthcare professionals to be leaders in international health. It’s also a culmination of the last 18 years of hard work by the staff at INMED. Dr. Michael Schick has been a crucial and influential learner for nearly all INMED’s history. Starting as a med student in 2006, Michael earned INMED’s Professional Certificate in International Medicine and Public Health. In 2013 he also achieved the Professional Diploma in International Medicine and Public Health (DIMPH), serving at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize. This spring, Dr. Schick was recognized with INMED highest academic credential, the Professional Master’s Degree in International Health.


As Dr. Schick says himself, “Resistance to taking on lots and lots of work has never been my problem,” which is evident by his career in international medicine. His service in Belize, Uganda, Viet Nam, and Nepal especially impressed upon him the importance of emergency care in underserved areas. Often the places he visited lacked basic diagnostic tools, which led him to realize how beneficial ultrasound could be in limited resource hospitals and clinics. He knew, like in his own experience abroad, providers would be exposed to ailments that were often unfamiliar and therefore difficult to diagnose and treat.


Pulling from his education at INMED, Dr. Schick set out to bring advanced emergent care to such communities by creating an extensive, text-book style, online resource that healthcare providers can use as a reference guide for ultrasound diagnostics: Ultrasound in Resource-Limited Settings: A Case Based, Open Access Text. This innovative website is a key clinical tool that is accessible to anyone in the world for absolutely no cost, and is currently being translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, and Farsi, plus more languages in the future.


Dr. Schick still sees far more room for improvement in emergent care for at-risk communities. When asked what he would do if he were to start a medical facility from scratch, Dr. Schick responds that, “I would meet with leaders/stakeholders up front to demonstrate the importance of emergent care so that it is a part of the initial integrated healthcare plan. I wish hospital leadership recognized its importance earlier which would have reduced many of the challenges we now face”.

Concurrently, Dr. Schick is working to expand the access to global health medicine education for trainees at University of California-Davis. When asked about his motivation to serve at low income or at-risk communities Dr. Schick wrote, “Since I was young, I have heard stories from my family about the horrors of war, persecution and displacement. This generational trauma left its mark and I have always thought that if I could make it part of my life’s work to heal the world and bring peace then I should see exactly what kind of impact I can make. Therefore, it is with great tenacity that I would prioritize the fundamental human rights of health and peace”.

Who Won The 2021 INMED International Medicine Award?

June 4th, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

This INMED Award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to health in developing nations or toward the control of HIV in low-resource communities. Award recipients have demonstrated uncommon dedication and endurance in pursuit of this cause.


The 2021 INMED International Medicine Award recipient is Monica Rojas, MD. She assisted in the launch of a medical clinic in Costa Rica – one primarily serving undocumented Nicaraguans. The clinic also provides medical care in homes, worksites, schools, and senior centers. During the pandemic, they expanded their service to include distribution of food bags to needy citizens. Today, Dr. Rojas teaches at Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, emphasizing opportunities to learn international health and to serve abroad. Says Dr. Rojas, “No matter where you go, every nation in the world is trying to conquer one common goal: quality healthcare available for all. Health is much more than just going to a doctor’s visit. It is all the social support and networks that connect communities with the vital resources they need in order to become healthy.”