INMED International Medicine Award

This award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to health in developing nations. Award recipients have demonstrated uncommon dedication and endurance in pursuit of this cause.


Scott Kujath, 2016 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


Well known in Kansas City as an exceptional vascular surgeon, Dr. Kujath’s service reaches beyond the city’s borders. In cooperation with First Baptist Church of Raytown, Missouri, heeads the Mission of Hope Clinic, providing primary medical care and dental care to the region’s most under resourced people. Dr Kujath also consistently serves in eastern Africa, both in providing direct medical care, as well as, pioneering in the innovative field of hospice and palliative care in connection with The Living Room, who provides quality of life for Kenyans affected by HIV-AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. Casting an effective vision for others to follow, Dr. Kujath has generously supported student scholarships for the INMED Conference since 2013.

Meredith Jackson, 2015 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient

jackson-meredithSince 2003 Meredith Jackson, RN, MA, 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 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.”

Abigail Rattin, 2014 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


Rattin-AbigailAbigail Rattin, MD, MPH, is Medical Coordinator of Action International Ministries. A family physician with public health training at University of Massachusetts Amherst, since 2010 Dr. Rattin as been living and serving in the nation of Uganda, eastern Africa. From her particular experience as mother of a special needs child, she provides direct clinical care, consulting and advocacy for vulnerable children and those children with special needs. In this context she consistently brings to light not only the gravity of such disabilities in Africa, but also effective and culturally appropriate means of preventing and optimizing life and functionality for these individuals.

Cathy Hoelzer, 2013 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


hoelzer_cathyCathy Hoelzer is a Physician Assistant and holds an MPH in International Health and Development from Tulane University. She started overseas medical work in 1991 when she volunteered to help in the Kurdish refugee camps. She has since worked in Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Chad, South Sudan, North Sudan, Tanzania and the Philippines. Cathy and her husband currently serve in the Republic of South Sudan bringing health care and the hope of the Gospel in the midst of the largest refugee camp in South Sudan. Cathy is the SIM Health Program Manager in Doro where she manages a wide variety of health programs and works clinically.

Steve Foster, 2012 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


foster_steveDr. Foster and his wife Peggy have lived in Angola, southern Africa, since 1975. The first fifteen years he provided surgical care at the famed Kalukembe Hospital in the midst of Angola’s “blood diamonds” civil war. When he recognized the limitations of international healthcare volunteers like himself, Dr. Foster initiated a residency training program for Angolan physicians. Most recently he partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and the Angolan Association of Evangelicals to establish CEML Hospital, which has been serving the nation since 2005. Reflecting on his life, Dr. Foster says, “I envision the day when I’ll stand before God and account for my life. How can I say that I chose self-indulgence while other people, no matter how far removed, are struggling to survive?”

Rob Cheeley, 2011 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


cheeley_rob2Dr Cheeley and his wife Noelani have lived in China since 1992, empowering low-resource populations in the southern Yinnan Province by training community health workers. Dr. Cheeley partners with local governments and healthcare institutions to select individuals for these special roles who are committed to providing continuity of care among China’s ethnic minorities. His role is also to enhance cooperation between China’s formal healthcare institutions and these grassroots health promotion efforts. Dr. Cheeley is also recipient of the China Friendship Award – the highest honor China bestows on non-Chinese citizens.

Joe LeMaster, 2010 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


lemaster_joeDr. LeMaster is a University of Kansas School of Medicine graduate who went on to later receive a Masters in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine. Dr. LeMaster and his wife Judy lived in Nepal from 1990-2000, serving at Okhaldhunga Hospital, the only medical care facility for 300,000 people, where they promoted maternal-child health and conducted leprosy research. Presently, Dr. LeMaster is at the University of Missouri-Columbia, teaching family medicine and researching community participation for improving the health of children. Dr. LeMaster is a truly inspiring and devoted man!

Lani Ackerman, 2009 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


ackerman_laniThis remarkable physician began her career determined to serve people who were most isolated. She honed her skills as a family medicine resident at John Peter Smith Hospital and during a 6-month assignment at Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh. Lani and her husband Tim went on to serve 8 years in the nations of Nepal and Bhutam, just north of India. She taught family medicine in a national university, served in mission hospitals and orphanages in the Himalayas, and created a community development project that advances agriculture and animal husbandry. Dr. Ackerman continues to inspire the next generation of health care professionals through her selfless career path.

Bruce Steffes, 2008 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


steffes_bruceBruce Steffes, MD, is CEO of the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), a general surgical training program for African physicians who intend to practice in Africa. Under his leadership, PAACS has expanded the educational curriculum, recruited new program directors, and enlarged the work to include six training sites with twenty-one residents. Prior to assuming the helm of PAACS in 2006, Dr. Steffes served throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia as a surgical instructor. He also initiated a children’s hospital in Uganda amid enormous obstacles. Dr. Steffes is the author of Medical Missions – Ready, Set, Go. 

Cindy Obenhaus, RN, 2007 INMED International Medicine Award Recipient


obenhaus_cindyCindy’s visit to Haiti was in 1987, where she was thrust into the harsh realities of living as most Haitians do: without running water, electricity or security. But Cindy was nevertheless inspired by the vision of caring for some of the most neglected people on earth. For the next fifteen years she continued going back to Haiti for two weeks at a time, assisting in mobile clinics, vaccinating, and teaching neonatal resuscitation and management of obstetrical complications to Haitian nurses and medical students. Struck by the fact that most medical care in Haiti was substandard, Cindy and a coalition of Haitian and Kansas City area churches developed a vision for a new birthing center of first-world quality, free to patients, and located in an underserved area. The Maison de Naissance opened in 2004. Since that time over 1000 mothers have given birth, with outcomes far superior to the national average. Says Cindy, “As a Christian, I’m called to go out into the world to step out of my comfort zone. The result is that I’m hopefully more compassionate and more understanding of people who are different than me. Being uncomfortable is good. That’s where you’ll find opportunities to both serve and to grow as a person. Go ahead: Get uncomfortable!”