UMKC Alumni Association to recognize two School of Medicine graduates

Nicholas Comninellis, M.D., ’82, M.P.H., Kimberly Netsch Wiele, M.D., ’81.
Nicholas Comninellis, M.D. ’82, M.P.H., and Kimberly Netsch Wiele, M.D. ’81

Two School of Medicine graduates will be honored at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Alumni Association’s awards luncheon next spring.

Nicholas Comninellis, M.D. ’82, M.P.H., clinical assistant professor of community and family medicine, will receive the Alumnus of the Year award, the highest alumni award given by the campus and the Alumni Association. Kimberly Netsch Wiele, M.D. ’81, assistant professor of radiology at Washington University, is the recipient of the 2015 School of Medicine Alumni Achievement award.

Comninellis will be the fifth School of Medicine graduate to be recognized as the UMKC Alumnus of the Year. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has achieved eminence in his or her professional field; made contributions to education, science, the arts or human welfare of national or international significance; and rendered outstanding service to society.

Comninellis is the founder, chief executive officer and president of the Institute for International Medicine. The Kansas City-based nonprofit organization works to equip students and health care professionals for international service. The institute offers courses in international health, diseases of poverty and community health strategy, as well as supervised international service-learning experiences at over 45 training sites in 20 low-resource countries.

A member of the UMKC School of Medicine faculty since 1991, Comninellis completed a residency in family medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and earned a master’s degree in public health at St. Louis University. He joins Robert Arnold, M.D. ’83; Maj. Gen. Mark Ediger, M.D.78, M.P.H.; David Hayes, M.D. ’76; and Catherine Spong, M.D. ’91, as School of Medicine graduates to be named UMKC Alumnus of the Year.

Wiele specializes in breast health at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. She has dedicated her career to breast cancer imaging and has made many strides within her community to build awareness around breast cancer. In addition to her reputation as an outstanding clinician, she is active in research and in the education and training of medical students and residents. She completed a residency in radiology at Saint Louis University Medical Center.

The UMKC Alumni Awards Celebration 2015 will be held at 11:30 a.m. on April 23 at Swinney Recreation Center.

The School of Medicine’s 2015 Alumni Reunion takes place April 23–25.