INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award

This award recognizes one who demonstrates care and concern for culturally diverse communities and who gives selflessly of time and resources for their benefit.


Allison Judkins, 2022 Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award

The 2022 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award recipient is Allie Judkins. Dr. Judkins serves as Associate Director for Global Health Research in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Utah. There, she mentors health care professionals in health quality improvement projects overseas. Dr. Judkins works as content expert for neonatal resuscitation for the Global Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and advises training and implementation teams on several continents. She also works at the Center for Medical Innovation at the University of Utah: This organization works to take ideas from “Bench to Bedside” through its maternal-child health promotion programs in India, Nepal, and Kenya. Dr. Judkins continues to be instrumental in overcoming challenges in such low-income countries that result in improving access and quality of life and health. Throughout her career in global health Dr. Judkins continues to engage in the frontline of global medicine in India and Nepal, directing multiple maternal neonatal programs in collaboration with the government.

Martha Baird, 2021 Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award

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.

Kimberly Connelly 2020 Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award

The 2020 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Leadership Award recipient is Kimberly Connelly. A native of Kansas City, Kimberly Connelly’s formal education prepared her well for her current role. At university, she studied international relations, French, and earned a Master’s degree in TOESL – Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Since 2013, she has served at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) – known worldwide as a hub for research and innovation, and also renowned for its Office of International Programs. Under the directorship of Kimberly Connelly, the office offers inbound opportunities for international researchers and clinicians at KUMC, and international educational experiences for KUMC faculty and students. Among the most visible of these international partnerships is with Vellore Christian Medical College in India, best known for physical and occupational therapy opportunities, and with Gulu University in Uganda, best known for teaching newborn resuscitation and for nursing education.

Judy LeMaster 2019 Cross Cultural Leadership Award Recipient

The 2019 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Leadership Award recipient is Judy LeMaster. Judy LeMaster is a registered nurse raised in London, England, and educated at Westminster Hospital and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Skilled in midwifery and fluent in the Nepali language, Judy and her husband Joe LeMaster 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. Judy also served at Nepal’s Amp Pipal Hospital as a nursing supervisor, alongside a newly appointed Nepali nursing superintendent. More recently, Judy aids Bhutanese refugees resettled in the Kansas City area, teaching English as Second Language (ESL) in association with Mission Adelante, and has ledhealthcare teams to Nepal, where her cultural expertise facilities their effective service.

Mary Smith 2018 Cross Cultural Leadership Award Recipient

In 1988 Mary, a master’s degree trained registered nurse, traveled with her Methodist church to Haiti. Motivated through this event, Mary herself lead multiple teams back to Haiti over the coming years. In 1999, while teaching nursing at Johnson Country Community College, she began taking nursing students to Mexico where they provided care to those living in a squatter’s community. That annual college trip continues even today. In 2009, Mary Smith made an exploration trip to Uganda. Thus, began annual visits to that nation as well, where for Ugandan nursing students and faculty she continues teaching Helping Babies Breathe – a skill set she acquired through INMED in 2010. Mary advises, “First just go to walk along side. As you do so, observe, learn, trust, respect, and let them teach you, too.”

Pam Franks, 2017 Cross Cultural Health Service Award Recipient

Pam Franks, RN BSN, began serious cross-cultural endeavors when she and her husband moved to Guatemala. During their five-year residency, she helped lead the medical care of a large Christian organization, which included clinics in remote parts of the country. Back home in Omaha, Pam launched Embrace the Nations in 2009, an organization focused on assisting refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, Bhutan and Burma. Pam and her team provide English language learning, life skills like vehicle maintenance and parenting, and assisting their children with tutoring and school success. Pam’s insight and vision is broadly respected, and she’s consistently called upon to lead cross-cultural skills training for nursing and medical students, churches and businesses, service organizations, and law enforcement officers.

Greg Seager 2017 Cross Cultural Leadership Award Recipient

Greg Seager, RN MSN, and his wife, Candi, first became involved in cross-cultural healthcare when invited by their home church. Moving up quickly in leadership, they were soon overseeing six to eight medical teams to Haiti each year. Later they became full-time staff with Mercy Ships, where part of Greg’s role involved Implementing Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) protocols, and program evaluation. Greg’s critique of international healthcare is best embodied in his book, When Healthcare Hurts: An Evidence Based Guide for Best Practices in Global Health Initiatives. In 2010, Greg and Candi launched a new healthcare sending organization to embody these innovations. Christian Health Service Corps today empowers fifty full-time personnel serving in fifteen developing nations.

Howard Searle, 2016 INMED Cross-Cultural Leadership Award Recipient


In 1965 this Canadian surgeon was inspired over the unique needs of India. In 1965 the Indian government began rejecting visa requests of US healthcare personnel. But Canadians still enjoyed ready access. In the critical years between 1969 and 74, Dr. Searle was part of the innovative team of Indian leaders who guided Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) from reliance on international staff and donors to becoming entirely self-sufficient. Since then, EHA has grown to become the world’s largest indigenous medical mission. Dr. Searle continued serving at their side until 2005, when he retired to become Executive Director of EHA’s United States affiliate, a role in which he continues to serve today.

Ran Poudel, 2012 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award Recipient

poudel_ranNominated by the Bhutanese Community in the Greater Kansas City Area, Ran Poudel was the one of the first Bhutanese refugees to arrive in the Metro. He learned for himself all the difficult pathways that refugees must take. He joined Catholic Charities as a refugee community liaison, provided countless hours of volunteer service helping Bhutanese find jobs, learn English, and get driver’s licenses. When asked whom they most trust to help them, repeatedly Bhutanese people respond, “Ran Poudel”. He is constantly stepping into the gap to serve the community – an expression, he says, of the central tenets of his relationship with God.

Carla Gibson, 2012 INMED Cross-Cultural Leadership Award Recipient

gibson_carlaCarla Gibson is Program Officer for the REACH Foundation, and was nominated for this award by Kansas City community directors in recognition of her leadership in reducing health disparities. Since 1991 she has proven her commitment to improving the health of the poor and underserved through her work at Charles Drew Health Center, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Swope Health Services, and the Kansas City Free Health Clinic. In 2008, she introduced the Cultural Competency Initiative, providing nearly twenty health and human service organizations with technical assistance to improve their knowledge and skills in this field, and strengthen their services to diverse populations.

Lal Zuali, 2011 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Service Award Recipient

zuali_lalLal Zuali received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Yangon, Burma, but was soon was forced to flee her homeland. In 2008 she resettled in the United States from a Burmese refugee camp in Malaysia. Since arriving in the United States Ms. Zuali has volunteered as a case manager and medical interpreter for new Burmese refugees through the Burmese Refugee Community of Southwest Kansas, located in Garden City. Lal Zuali is a particular advocate for refugee rights, based on international laws and treaties that allow for recognition before the law, freedom of movement, and the ability to become self-reliant through work and educational opportunity.

Farah Abdi, 2011 INMED Cross-Cultural Healthcare Leadership Award Recipient

abdi_farahSince immigrating to the United States from Somalia in 1999 Farah Abdi has served East African newcomers to the Greater Kansas City area. He is a founder and executive director of the Somali Foundation. The Foundation multiplies Farah Abdi’s personal vision by assisting refugees and other immigrants through provision of advocacy, education, interpretation services, employment opportunities, language acquisition, drivers training, and healthcare writing a paper access while also honoring their people’s home cultures. Farah Abdi also actively trains others interested in sharpening their skills for the benefit of immigrants and refuges in cross-cultural settings.