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Clinic In A Can


When disaster strikes how do get medical help fast?

The answer is clinic in a can.

Coming up, how a social entrepreneur found a life-saving use for industrial shipping container.

Industrial shipping containers are made of heavy gauge corrugated steel.  They’re stackable and virtually indestructible. They ship the world’s goods.

And now, thanks to a social entrepreneur in Kansas, they’re helping save lives too.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Their use in emergency medicine can be traced to Michael Wawrzewski, a physician’s assistant who founded Hospitals of Hope in Wichita, Kansas in the 1990s. His group has led countless missions to help people in Africa and South America.

Since 2005 they’ve been doing it with mobile medical clinics. That year, when an earthquake hit Haiti and Hurricane Katrina devastated the south, the group’s board wondered “Do we go? Do we send medical supplies?”

Wawrzewski decided the best way to reach out was something he called “Clinic in a Can” – a portable medical clinic that would “outshine” any third-world hospital.

The first Clinic in a Can was built in a mobile home. But Wawrzewski’s team quickly shifted to the more durable industrial shipping containers.


Click to Enlarge

They can transform a typical container – 40 feet long, 9 feet high, 8 feet wide — into a self-sustaining, fully functioning medical clinic — with two exam rooms, a laboratory and a mechanical room. Each clinic comes with water, air-conditioning and electricity so they can be shipped to the ends of the earth. Click here to see a video of Wawrzewski showing a unit.

Clinics in a can have been shipped to Bolivia, Haiti, the Sudan, and to recent disaster sites in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

They’ve been so successful they’ve spawned copycats. Other organizations are dispatching medical clinics in shipping containers too – and that’s a good thing.

Recently Wawrzewski pioneered the first solar powered clinic in a shipping container. Its batteries can power operations for three days.

Hospitals of Hope founder Michael Wawrzewski exemplifies an axiom featured on our website think of that.net. Apply new technology to an existing product.

His charity’s Clinic in a Can division turns industrial shipping containers into mobile medical clinics.

Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

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