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 opportunities for 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.