From Rescue To Resilience / From Inspiration To Mobilization
Workshop » Global Topics
Nicholas Comninellis, MD, MPH, DIMPH
1. From Rescue To Resilience
At the completion of this conference participants will be able to:
- Acknowledge the limitations of the rescue paradigm
- Advocate for community-wide responsibility
- Equip local health leaders to care for their own
Disasters and epidemic disease continue to mark this new century: Haiti's earthquake, Pakistan's flood, measles’ blight, and Zimbabwe’s cholera. The heartening response from many is to donate personal time, talent, and treasures to provide rescue and assistance to those in distress. But even well-intentioned efforts have their limitations. We must move beyond the rescue mentality and pursue those interventions that actually build more resilient communities. These interventions often include economic development, improvements in basic literacy, and proven effective health interventions. We must also invest into equipping local healthcare personnel to provide for their own.
2. From Inspiration To Mobilization
At the completion of this presentation, participants will be able to more effectively:
- Select among the multiple modalities of healthcare service toward forgotten people
- Manage the common rationales for neglecting those who are forgotten
- Take personal steps to mobilize ourselves on behalf of forgotten people
Robotic surgery, miracle cancer drugs, vision correction procedures - our age is marked by marvelous progress in medicine. Yet on the parameter of our communities both in North America and abroad live multitudes of people who are barred from these innovations because of poverty, illiteracy, culture, and distance. We in healthcare often possess a wonderful virtue: desire to serve the poorest of the poor. But how do we move from feeling inspired to truly taking action? By confronting the popular rationales and misconceptions that impede us, including “I’m in debt,” “My children will be deprived,” and “I don’t know where to begin.” This presentation utilized movie clips from Braveheart and Lord of the Rings.
Nicholas Comninellis teaches global health in the Department of Medical Humanities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and is founder and CEO of the Institute for International Medicine, for whom he is a full-time volunteer. Over a two year period before prosperity he served inner city citizens at Shanghai Charity Hospital, and over another two years lead a healthcare ministry in the war-besieged city of Huambo, Angola in southern Africa. He also served one-two month medical assignments in Honduras, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Kunming, China. Next, Dr. Comninellis worked for six years in the Kansas City public hospital system, before launching INMED in 2003. He attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, the Saint Louis University School of Public Health, and was a family medicine resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Comninellis also earned a diploma in tropical medicine from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is board certified in both public health and family medicine, is author of INMED International Medicine & Public Health, and is the 2015 University of Missouri-Kansas City Alumni of the Year.