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Education Topics

Plenary Sessions

Lessons Learned in Working with International Partners | Presented by Mathew Santhosh Thomas, MD
Dr. Mathew brings a wealth of experience and insight on India and South Asia, having worked both with EHA and now ICMDA. He will share about the bigger picture of Christian health care in the region, the value of partnerships, and lessons learned through his career of service and leadership.

The Role of Partnership & Networking in the Face of Refugee Crisis | Presenter TBD

Training Indigenous Christian Medical Leaders Online | Presented by Peter Saunders, MD
Never before has the confluence of need and opportunity been so evident in medical education of indigenous Christian health workers. Trainers in North America and around the world can reach out to previously unreachable locales and provide content, guidance, and encouragement to national brothers and sisters working in locales where training can be difficult to come by. Dr. Saunders will share about different approaches that he’s observed including webinar series, training tracts, and a family medicine program. He will share how ICMDA has used these approaches to enhance international fellowship, build partnership, enable small group learning, develop language groups and translation teams, assist international communities, promote training of trainers, embrace adult learning techniques, and foster multiplication.

A Living Witness - Christian Healthcare in the Middle East | Presented by Isaam (Sam) Raad, MD
Dr. Raad will discuss the current realities and future trends of healthcare mission work in the Middle East. What opportunities lie ahead? What are the unique challenges of this region? Which workers are best equipped to meet the needs that exist there?

Going Together: Engaging the Global South & the North as One Team in Missions | Presented by Florence Muindi, MD, MPH
It could not be more relevant. God is calling the global south to partner with the north as co-equals.Coming together is beautiful before God and on it He commands a blessing. Impact becomes inevitable.This has been the foundation and practice of my life calling. Engaging missions as one team for noneshould go without the other. I testify of unified kingdom-focused partnerships that result in co-creatingand co-leading, for His glory. Its time.

Breakout Sessions

Medical Education: A Uniquely Strategic Ministry | Presented by Sharon (Shari) Falkenheimer, MD; Dr. R, MD
Medical education presents unique opportunities for ministry, and is widely recognized as a highly strategic mission endeavor. It addresses what are often tremendous shortages of trained healthcare personnel in two-thirds world communities. It provides an inroads for relationships and discipleship over time with healthcare workers, who are often community influencers. And it helps eliminate the gap that often is left when Western healthcare missionaries depart from their host countries. Dr. R will share about a unique platform that has allowed for a scalable, mostly virtual curriculum that includes family medicine training. Dr. Falkenheimer will explore the availability and impact of healthcare education teaching teams.

Carving a Niche - Strategies for Mission Hospitals in an Increasingly Competitive Landscape (Panel Discussion) | Presented by Florence Muindi, MD, MPH; Greg Neal, PhD; Isaam (Sam) Raad, MD
Mission hospitals are usually started in areas that are impoverished and medically underserved. Over time, and often due in part to the presence of the hospital, the surrounding community experiences economic and social development. This can be accompanied by additional health care facilities and providers entering the community. Previously operating in a sea of unmet needs, the mission hospital now faces competition. How do we make this transition effectively, staying true to our core mission and principles while acknowledging evolving realities? Join us as an experienced panel discusses this scenario that’s becoming increasingly common.

Building Spiritual Ministry Capacity in Missionary Healthcare Facilities | Presented by Scott Hughett
The “mission” in medical “missions”

Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission has a guiding ethos – we meet the physical needs of people who are suffering sickness, strife, famine, or poverty – to show God’s love and create an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. For over 40 years, World Medical Mission has served medical missions around the globe in a variety of ways, including sending health care professionals, project funding, equipment, and bio-med tech support. In recent years a new initiative has been developed to support the evangelistic and spiritual ministry of the mission hospital partners. The program is built around the hospital chaplains, but seeks to work with the entire hospital structure and staff to bring everyone’s focus on the urgency of the mission – the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In this session we will examine the current situation related to mission hospital chaplains, outline the basic training program designed, and the development of a Christ-centered attitude and atmosphere throughout the entire hospital. Each hospital is a unique mix of cultures, languages, theological perspectives, and governance structures, so there is no simple template solution. We can, however, align the hospital towards a common goal that is focused on the Gospel as well as some overarching principles to maintain that focus. These will be discussed and outlined.

Firstfruits and Capstone - Engaging Early and Late Career Health Workers in Mission | Presented by Doug Lindberg, MD
God can and does call His servants into full time vocational mission work at any point in their career. That being said, the window immediately after completing training and the empty nest/ later career phase are two unique points in a healthcare worker’s typical career path where they are usually less encumbered by financial, family, and community commitments. This affords them more flexibility to step into missions work. With this in mind, CMDA is targeting these groups with our new First Fruits and Capstone strategic initiatives. Come and hear about these efforts, and contribute to the discussion with what your organization is doing to engage these groups and mobilize them for Kingdom work.

Pre-publication Results of the “Moral Injury in Healthcare Missions” Study  | Presented by Jim Ritchie, MD
Healthcare missionaries experience emotional and spiritual burdens and struggles which are unlike the experiences of most other missionaries.  Healthcare missionaries are frequently exposed to death, suffering,  life-and-death decisions and cross-cultural moral dilemmas, which may contribute to burnout, moral injury, PTSD, and early departure from the Field.  MedSend and CMDA and colleagues are conducting a study of the experience of current and former healthcare missionaries, focusing on these struggles and the methods missionaries have used to thrive on the field.  During this session, we will describe some of the surprising preliminary findings of this study, with strategic recommendations for healthcare missionary sending agencies.   

Why do Healthcare Missionaries seek Member Care? What are we Missing? | Presented by Curtis McGown (Valeo); Stan Haegart, MD, MPH (Alongside)
Healthcare missionaries are departing the mission field at a surprisingly high rate, often due to preventable reasons. This session explores up-to-date issues that healthcare missionaries report as they seek help from experts.  Stan Haegert is the Director of Alongside's MedRetreat, which is an eleven-day counseling and debriefing event specifically for Healthcare Missionaries.  Curtis McGown is the Executive Director of Valeo, an organization which provides clinical care for global workers, including specialization for Healthcare Missionaries.   Stan and Curtis will describe their observations from hundreds of encounters with struggling healthcare missionaries and will recommend beneficial approaches to helping them re-engage their challenging ministries with renewed and enduring joy."

Mission Agencies and Multicultural Missionaries: Working Well Together | Presented by Kendrick, MD
Mission agencies have traditionally been Western based. With respect to medical missions, historically the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe and Australia/New Zealand have made up the majority of both mobilizers and sent medical missionaries to Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, as the global church has grown, the geographic center of Christianity as well as the sending base for missionaries have dramatically shifted away from the West. Today less than 30 percent of Christians live in North America and Europe and nearly 47% of missionaries come from the Global South.  Additionally, many missionaries in the Global South serve as national workers in their own countries. As mission agencies become more multicultural, they need to shift their focus, priorities and resources to meet the growing needs of the multicultural missionaries they send out and partner with.  This session seeks to explore some of the questions that should be asked and engage in discussion around how sending entities can navigate the challenges of missions globalization and multicultural missionaries.

Christian Global Healthcare in Perspective | Presented by Daniel O'Neill, MD
The Christian Global Health in Perspective course is a 10-session curriculum that examines health, the Bible, and the Church. According to Dan Fountain, “our concept of health is too short; our biomedical model of medicine is too narrow…we offer sickness care rather than health care” The course endeavors to address these shortcomings. Akin to the Perspectives course, CGHiP is set up with short curriculum readings, readings from books and articles, videos, reflection questions and other assignments so that the learner will walk away with tangible ways to apply the knowledge to their life and practice. Dr. O’Neil will provide a content overview, and also a case for why this content is of high value to mission-minded believers.