Founder’s Story

It was the suffering of children without medical care and essential medicines and a belief in the power of partnerships that prompted the founding of INMED in 1986. Originally an acronym for International Medical Services for

LP in Peru
Linda Pfeiffer with children at the Fe y Alegria school in Ventanilla, Lima, Peru, who celebrated a special occasion in costumes they made themselves of recycled materials.

Health, the name INMED today represents the continuity and evolution that is INMED Partnerships for Children—rescuing children from immediate and irreversible harm, and building strong leaders for tomorrow.

The impetus for Linda Pfeiffer’s vision for INMED began during her anthropology doctorate work in a remote fishing village in the mangrove swamps of southern Mexico near the Guatemalan border. The more time she spent with the villagers, the more she discovered that well-intentioned efforts to deliver medical assistance and supplies from the developed world to the underdeveloped world could at times be ineffective—and sometimes could actually cause more harm than good.

On her return to the United States, Dr. Pfeiffer became a catalyst for nonprofits, businesses and governments in establishing multilateral partnerships to ensure responsive, responsible assistance. From the outset, INMED’s global medical assistance objectives included health education to complement the supply of appropriate medicines and to promote prevention. A community-based program design and global information sharing were the foundations of its programs.

Today, INMED’s goal continues to focus on preventing the loss of children and youth at any point along their path to adulthood—whether through disease, neglect, lack of education or opportunity—and to equip them to build a brighter future for themselves and the next generation.