Mission & Values
On the outskirts of our communities exist extraordinary numbers of individuals and families who are forgotten. Often these are the poor, the unemployed, minorities, and immigrants. Overlooked by the majority and left behind in the dash for progress, these silent persons piece together lives from the leftovers, as they succumb the physical and mental repercussions of neglect. Some two billion of them still lack basic nutrition, housing, safe water, education, and health care. As a result, their infants only have a three in four chance of surviving beyond childhood, and those who do survive may live only into their thirties or forties. Tragically, health in many poorer communities is actually on the decline. This should not be so!
Yet healthcare professionals who serve on behalf of the forgotten often discover that their education and training poorly prepared them to work effectively among such people, primarily because:
- Health status is largely determined by factors beyond mainstream healthcare that must also be addressed, such as education, housing, economic development, and family dynamics.
- Diseases and injuries may be unfamiliar. Malnutrition, orthopedic trauma, and certain infectious diseases are common in low-resource communities, but rare in wealthier ones.
- Healthcare resources to manage these diseases and injuries are frequently minimal, whether laboratory, imaging, medications, procedures or consultants.
- Cultural context is challenging. Success in promoting health and combating disease requires an intimate understanding of language and human behavior, which often contrasts sharply from one community to another.
- Leadership skills are underdeveloped. Effective health intervention requires attention to community-wide needs and resources, team building, and strategic planning – concepts infrequently addressed in the education of healthcare professionals.
- Living and working in low-resource communities demands unique personal adeptness. Attention to physical health, emotional wellbeing, financial planning, and family relationships is essential for long-term success.
The Good Samaritan is a moving account told by the Great Physician of a compassionate outsider coming to the aid of a common man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. He urged, “Go and do likewise.” Many healthcare professionals today continue to follow this model of kindness toward those who are most disadvantaged, make service to the poor an intentional part of their careers, whether in their home communities or in distant locales. Countless lives are saved through their ongoing commitment.
Mission of INMED
The mission of the Institute for International Medicine is to equip healthcare professionals and students with the unique skills to serve forgotten people. INMED is a Missouri-registered, non-profit, educational corporation founded in 2003.
Values of INMED
- We are committed to the forgotten. We are called to serve the neediest, most disadvantaged people of the earth. We seek to relieve their suffering and to assist in making sustainable improvements in their lives. We seek to engage them, to promote their voice, and to offer our hands and feet in service. We respect those in need as active participants, not passive recipients, in this relationship.
- We value all human life. We regard all individuals as created and loved by God. We respect dignity, uniqueness, diversity and intrinsic worth of all people – regardless of wealth, social status, and or ability to reciprocate our efforts. We encourage these virtues in all of our working relationships, including staff, volunteers, donors, community, and those receiving our support.
- We are stewards. We are managers, not owners, of the resources made available to us on behalf of the forgotten of this world. We are transparent and honest in our communications and relationships with our partners, communities, and governments. Not only are we stewards of resources but of people. We strive to ensure that all of our activities, programs, and services are efficient and effective.
- We are partners. We are partners with those we serve as well as with those who invest into our shared mission. Our relationships are purposeful, diverse, and encourage mutual participation in achieving the mission. We seek cooperation and partnerships with other organizations and groups that share our vision.
Partnership For Compassion
INMED’s Executive Officers and Board of Directors are pleased to partner with a growing number of students, healthcare professionals, universities, residency programs, healthcare facilities, and national health leaders – all intent on inspiring and equipping healthcare professionals to “Go and do likewise” and to serve the most forgotten people of our world.