History Of INMED

The Institute for International Medicine is built on the truth that one generation can profoundly motivate and equip the next. INMED itself is the result of model individuals whose self-sacrificing lifestyle inspired INMED’s leaders to create this organization. Today, INMED is casting a vision the next generation of healthcare professionals to serve the most neglected citizens of our planet.

 

Inspiration: 1976 – 2002

 

As a high school senior, Nicholas Comninellis read Dr. Tom Dooley’s moving account of caring for Vietnamese refugees in the book Deliver Us From Evil.

“I want to do that too!” was his heart-felt response.  As a medical student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Comninellis leaped at opportunitiesfor international service. For two months, he was mentored by Samuel Marx, an American physician who instructed him at the Clinic Evangelica Morava in the jungle of eastern Honduras. After completing medical training in 1982 Comninellis worked for a year at Shanghai Charity Hospital where he was guided by Dr. Donald Dale – a British physician who launched the Jian Hua Foundation. In 1989 Comninellis took two-year an assignment in Angola, southern Africa, where Dr. Steven Foster, a Canadian surgeon, introduced him to the vagrancies of working in that war ravaged nation. They served together at the famed Kalukembe Hospital. In 1991 Comninellis entered service in the Kansas City public hospital system at Truman Medical Centers, all the while a dream growing within him.

INITIATION: 2003 – 2004 ACADEMIC YEAR

 

inmed_leadersIn 2003, Dr. Comninellis was teaching public health and family medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He noticed a growing desire among students for international service. Many medical schools were also encouraging international education, but few actually offered international clinical electives, and even fewer had a curriculum appropriate to international health issues. Realizing that people who do medical missions usually had a formative experience during their training, Dr. Comninellis envisioned an organization specifically devoted to the educational aspects of international medicine. Community leaders came together to form the first INMED Board of Directors, including Roy Moran, Don Philgreen, Daniel Hickey, and Thad May. INMED was incorporated as a Missouri non-profit corporation on July 30, 2003.

DEVELOPMENT: 2004 – 2005 Academic Year

 

In 2004, Dr. Comninellis departed his full-time teaching position in order to develop INMED. Here are the highlights of the 2004-2005 academic year:

 

  • INMED launched it’s first service: the Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health (DIMPH)
  • Training sites were established at Baptist Medical Center in Ghana, at the Hospital Evangelico in Honduras, and with Liaoning International Health Trainers in China 
  • Dr. Comninellis created an international medicine curriculum covering the essential topics of international health issues, diseases of poverty, cross-cultural skills, and health leadership
  • Six medical students from the Universities of Kansas and Missouri-Kansas City completed the INMED International Medicine Certificate. The first graduation was held at the Diastole Scholar’s Center at the UMKC School of Medicine in May 2005
  • The Jack Hill Continuing Medical Education Foundation also provided INMED with its first major funding

ADDITION: 2005 – 2006 Academic Year

 

The 2005-2006 Academic Year saw INMED add it’s first full-time staff member. Here are the highlights of the year:

 

  • Micah Flint joined INMED in July 2005 as Chief Executive Officer
  • INMED moved to office space provided by the Hospital Corporation of America in Kansas City, MO
  • The INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health program grew in popularity with the addition of seven new training sites in Angola, Macau, Jordan, Romania, Cameroon, the United Arab Emirates, and the Clinica Morava in Honduras
  • 28 medical students and resident physicians from 15 different academic institutions completed the INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health
  • INMED hosted its first Exploring Medical Missions Conference with 200 individuals and 12 exhibitors attending the conference
  • The Jack Hill Continuing Medical Education Foundation and College Park Family Care Center also provided INMED with major financial support

FIGHT HIV: 2006 – 2007 Academic Year

 

In the 2006-2007 Academic Year, INMED continued to develop and expand the services offered. Here are the highlights of the year:

 

LAUNCHING INTO MEDICAL MISSIONS: 2007 – 2008 Academic Year

 

INMED experienced growth in all aspects of the organization in 2007-2008. Here are the highlights of the year:

 

Fighting the diseases of Poverty: 2008 – 2009 Academic Year

 

INMED developed several new programs and experienced considerable growth of the organization in 2008-2009. Here are the highlights of the year:

 

Serving the Forgotten: 2009 – 2010 Academic Year

 

INMED continued to experience growth of the organization in 2009-2010. Here are the highlights of the year:

 

FROM RESCUE TO RESILIENCE: 2010 – 2011 Academic Year

 

This year witnessed particular growth in INMED’s academic offerings. Here are the highlights:

 

From Inspiration To Mobilization: 2011 – 2012 Academic Year

 

This year witnessed particular growth in INMED’s academic offerings. Here are the highlights:

 

The Road Less Traveled: 2012 – 2013 Academic Year

 

Over this year INMED emphasized broader accreditation and recognition of it’s programs, with these spotlights:

 

Sticks in a Bundle Are Unbreakable: 2013 – 2014 Academic Year

 

Throughout this year INMED particularly worked to increase access to its hybrid intensive courses, with these high points:

 

What Can You Do In Ten?:  2014 – 2015 Academic Year

 

In this, the twelfth year of INMED and the tenth year of the Exploring Medical Missions Conference, we observed this particular progress:

 

  • INMED’s Continuing Education Department hosted CME joint-providership activities for Saint Luke’s Health System, Kansas City Dermatological Society, Buchanan County Medical Society, The Research Foundation, Research Belton Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and Lee’s Summit Medical Center, among others. INMED was also awarded Continuing Nursing Education Accreditation through Missouri Nurses Association. To accommodate these demands INMED has welcomed two additional new staff members: Rebekah Herzog and Celina Fisher.
  • INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Courses were held five times, including in-classroom locations in Fort Worth TX, Kansas City MO, Glendale CA, Kirksville MO, and Pittsburgh PA, with 79 total participants.
  • INMED also hosted two courses in Helping Babies Breathe and three courses in Ultrasound for Primary Care.
  • Twenty-five individuals completed the vigorous requirements to quality for the INMED Diploma in either International Public Health or International Medicine & Public Health, including their service-learning experience at an INMED Training Site.
  • What Can You Do In Ten? Was the theme of this year’s Exploring Medical Missions Conference, which featured plenary presentations by David Nassar, Micah Flint, and Rick Donlon. Live actors made up the victims and patients of a simulated disaster in the Midwest and a field hospital in Nepal after the earthquake. 418 individuals were in attendance.
  • INMED received substantial funding from College Park Family Care Center, Ted & Kim Higgins, Hodgdon Family Charitable Foundation, Physicians Reference Laboratories, Mary Elizabeth Grant Education Foundation, Kansas City Care Clinic, HCA Midwest, and the Butterfield Memorial Foundation.
  • INMED Board Members Don Philgreen and Roy Moran recognized and affirmed INMED staff Elizabeth Burgos and Micah Flint, citing their five- and ten-year’s service “…to INMED and to our world’s most forgotten citizens.”

Evidence Behind Medical Missions: 2015 – 2016 Academic Year

 

During INMED’s thirteenth year we are particularly grateful for these achievements:

 

  • INMED launched a Free Demo Self-Paced Course to give prospective participants an opportunity to “test drive” features common to all INMED Self-Paced Courses and the online learning section of INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Courses.
  • INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Courses were held five times, including in-classroom locations in Fort Worth TX, Kansas City MO, Glendale CA, Kirksville MO, and Pittsburgh PA, with 67 total participants.
  • INMED also hosted three courses in Helping Babies Breathe and four courses in Ultrasound for Primary Care.
  • Nine individuals added an international service-learning experience to their previous International Medicine & Public Health Intensive Hybrid Courses to quality for the INMED Diploma in either International Public Health or International Medicine & Public Health.
  • INMED’s Continuing Education Department hosted CME joint-providership activities for Saint Luke’s Health System, Truman Medical Center, Research Medical Center, Research Belton Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, and for a number of professional societies.
  • The 2016 Exploring Medical Missions Conference theme was The Evidence Behind Medical Missions, and included plenary presentation by Gary Morsch, Brad Gautney, and Lani Ackerman. A number of new subjects were added this year, including palliative care, global health education, partnering with national leaders. Approximately 500 individuals participated, including some 200 students.
  • INMED received sizable funding from College Park Family Care Center, Ted & Kim Higgins, Hodgdon Family Charitable Foundation, HCA Midwest, and the Butterfield Memorial Foundation, as well as support from 72 individual donors.