Nicholas Comninellis, MD, MPH, DIMPH

Nicholas Comninellis is Dean and President of INMED, the Institute for International Medicine. He is also faculty in the Department of Medical Humanities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine and faculty at Research Medical Center Family Medicine Residency. Over two years Dr. Comninellis served inner-city citizens at Shanghai Charity Hospital. Over another two years, he led a healthcare ministry in the war-besieged nation of Angola in southern Africa. Dr. Comninellis next served for six years in the Kansas City public hospital before launching INMED in 2003.

He graduated from UMKC School of Medicine and Saint Louis University School of Public Health and was a family medicine resident at John Peter Smith Hospital. Dr. Comninellis also earned a professional diploma in tropical medicine from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and became board certified in both public health and family medicine. Among his authored books are Shanghai Doctor, Where Do I Go From Here, and INMED International Medicine & Public Health. Dr. Comninellis is a classical guitarist and faculty advisor for UMKC Cru. He was recognized as the 2009 United Nations Association of the United States World Citizen and the 2015 University of Missouri-Kansas City Alumni of the Year.


Presentation Title:  From Disaster to Durability

Disasters, epidemics, and public health crises continue to burden this new century: Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria, Yemen’s cholera epidemic, Flint Michigan’s lead poisoning.  The heartening response from many is to devote personal time, talent, and treasures to rescue and assist those in crisis.  But even well-intentioned efforts have limitations.  We must move beyond a rescue mentality and pursue those interventions that build more resilient communities.  These interventions often include economic development, improved basic education, and highly efficient health initiatives.  Throughout, we must equip local leaders with vision and skills to continue building strength from within their own communities.