Smallpox Versus Covid-19 – What Should We Learn?

July 16th, 2021 by INMED
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 INMED
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 INMED
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 INMED
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 INMED
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.”

Would You Gamble With Your Life?

May 28th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

 

Would you gamble with your life? Take a risk? Go all in? Put it all on the line? Make a heavy investment? Startling as this action sounds, the fact is that we all gamble with our lives. Every day we make decisions about how to use our time, our talents, and our treasures. The risks seldom appear so stark simply because we make small investments one-by-one. But over a period of months or years, the investment we make with our lives becomes a statement of our heart, our values, and our impact on the world.

 

Following 16 months of pandemic restrictions, we in the United States are enjoying a season of renewed freedom. What will we do with this freedom? In this context, the counsel of Christ in Luke chapter 12 is especially pertinent: Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

The gamble – the investment – is our choice. This summer, we at INMED invite you to join in opportunities to strengthen the world’s most vulnerable persons of whom Christ speaks. The Humanitarian Health Conference on June 11-12 will connect you with like-hearted professionals and service organizations, both domestic and international. INMED Training Sites in 25 nations work 24-7-365, and offer service-learning opportunities for you to contribute. INMED Academic Courses will equip you with the expertise to excel in serving those who reside in low-resource and cross-cultural communities. Such investments are a very good gamble!

 

Study At INMED This Summer!

May 22nd, 2021 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


 

What’s on your heart this summer? Advance your career? Explore the world? Serve the poorest? Consider studying at INMED! Summer courses can be à la cart, and can also credit towards the Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) or the Professional Diplomas in International Medicine (DIMPH), International Nursing (DINPH), or International Public Health (DIPH). View the full Academic Calendar!

 

New this summer is International Healthcare Ethics, taught by Scott Armistead of Virginia Commonwealth University and a veteran of 16 years of service in Pakistan. Says Dr. Armistead, “Healthcare as a profession has inherent underlying and sometimes inadequately examined ethical assumptions and questions related to what is the good. This course will examine Western ethical principles in the light of, and in comparison to, the international cultural context from which ethical decision-making occurs in an international context.”

 

On June 10, enjoy one-day, in-person courses in Kansas City in Ultrasound and Helping Babies Breathe (HBB). And please stay and be inspired the following day at the Humanitarian Health Conference in the same location. What’s on your heart this summer? Perhaps studying at INMED will accelerate your passions!

 

 

 

Ready To Unmask?

May 14th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

Yesterday, the CDC announced that  people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer must wear a face mask when in proximity to others. This bold declaration is founded upon very recent research demonstrating that vaccinated persons are not only protected from the dangers of illness but also do not harbor or transmit the virus to others. What a welcome affirmation following fifteen months of painful precautions and diligent vaccine development!

 

Mask removal, however, is not simply a signal to return to life as before. This pandemic experience has brought into sharp focus the plight of those who are poor and marginalized. We need only look at the grave COVID-19 health crises unfolding this week in Brazil, India, and SE Asia: people without oxygen, transportation, medication, or even the most elementary medical care. As we peel off our physical masks, we do well to consciously unmask the deep, altruistic desire within ourselves to take action on behalf of people like these.

 

Where can you start? How do you find like hearted colleagues? Whom are trusted organizations with whom you can partner? INMED is gathering all these together four weeks from today, June 11-12, at the Humanitarian Health Conference. Preview the exemplary presenters and the Conference Trailer. Login or come in-person to the event Kansas City. Mark your physical unmasking with the unmasking of your most virtuous desires to aid those still in danger.

Are You Contagious?

May 6th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

 

Are you infected?…feverish?…coughing?…contagious? As we increasingly venture out into public spaces, we do so realizing the risks of becoming infected from another person who is contagious with Covid-19, influenza, tuberculosis, measles, even anthrax. Hence, we take proven-effective precautions to protect ourselves, and to prevent becoming ill and contagious towards others.

 

But most people – thank goodness – do not harbor lethal, contagious microorganisms. Some people even harbor virtues from which we benefit by being exposed: expertise, compassion, bravery, endurance. INMED is assembling just such individuals on June 11-12 at the Humanitarian Health Conference: Martha Baird – specialist in refugee mental health, Jordan Crawford – urban family medicine expert , Winston Manimtim – newborn resuscitation authority, Monica Rojas – organizer of free health clinics in central America.

 

Encounter expertise and compassion by joining in the Humanitarian Health Conference in-person in Kansas City or by logging into the virtual event. Benefit from the influence of such outstanding role models. You will experience encouragement; maybe a vision for the next season of your career. And, toward your colleagues and friends, your influence might even become contagious!

 

What Could Be Better Than Delivering Newborns?

April 23rd, 2021 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

This bright smile is myself in Honduras some years ago. I’ve just guided a newborn into the world. Since then, I’ve enjoyed the same privilege in Angola, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Fort Worth, and KC. What could be better?

 

Even better is the Humanitarian Health Conference! Why? Because this inspiring event launches many more talented healthcare professionals into caring for our worlds most vulnerable, especially pregnant women and newborns.

 

This year, take advantage of one-day, pre-conference, in-person courses on June 10th in Helping Babies Breathe (newborn resuscitation), and Advanced Mother Baby Outcomes (managing OB complications). Then, stay on for the main Humanitarian Health Conference event on June 11-12 with breakout sessions in diseases of poverty and compassionate healthcare, plus connecting with organizations with whom you can serve.

 

What could possibly be better than delivering newborns? Witnessing our colleagues with bright smiles engaging in excellent and compassionate care!