Portable, mobile medical clinics to provide medical aid to Ukraine

WICHITA, Kan. – Russia has bombed and attacked at least 86 medical facilities in Ukraine since the invasion began, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The images and news of the destruction and suffering in Ukraine have prompted two Kansas organizations to team up to help Ukraine’s struggling medical infrastructure.

Wichita’s Clinic in a Can and Lenexa’s Heart to Heart International have partnered to send three mobile medical facilities and $13 million in medicines, medical supplies and hygiene supplies to Ukraine. One of the clinics is a laboratory donated by Worksite Labs. Two of the clinics are primary care clinics.

Clinic in a Can converts shipping containers into mobile medical units. These units are fully equipped and ready to immediately operate as a medical facility in disaster areas, regardless of the surrounding area’s infrastructure. Clinic in a Can’s CEO Michael Wawrzewski has a background in medicine and volunteered on many medical missions, and he says it’s amazing what can be done with such a small space.

“When I saw the news reports of hospitals being bombed, as a medical professional I want to care for people,” Wawrzewski said. “This mission allows us to reach people who are suffering, and let them know people are thinking and praying about them and their plight.”

Heart to Heart International in Lenexa, Kan., has a long history of working with Clinic in a Can and has used the mobile medical facilities following various disasters such as Hurricane Harvey (2017) in Texas and Hurricane Michael (2018) in Florida and the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. These facilities have been crucial for medical relief efforts in areas where damaged clinics have shut down or hospitals needed to reduce capacity.

“As these attacks on Ukraine’s health system continue, people need our help immediately,” said Heart to Heart International’s CEO Kim Carroll. “We’ve seen firsthand how effective these mobile clinics are in times of disaster, and we’re thrilled to work together with Clinic in a Can to get effective and compassionate medical aid to people who need it most.”

The three 20-foot Clinic in a Can facilities will be sent to Ukraine packed with 3,600 hygiene kits donated by Heart to Heart International as well as other medicines and supplies. Each hygiene kit provides essential items such as toothpaste, a washcloth, shampoo, and soap, that provide a sense of normalcy to people suffering during a disaster.

The donation will make its way to Ukraine thanks to a partnership with The Gorta Group (http://gortagroup.org/), an NGO based in Ireland. The Gorta Group is already on the ground in the Eastern-European war-torn region, delivering humanitarian and medical relief in Ukraine and providing aid to refugees in Slovakia.

Example of Clinic in a Can – this is one HHI established in Florida following Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Founded in 2010, Wichita-based Clinic in a Can specializes in custom, pre-built modular, ready-to-use medical structures that are solar or electric powered for use during disasters, crisis and otherwise. These long-lasting structures are climate controlled, offering a professional environment necessary for medical operations, and can be delivered anywhere for immediate use. For more information, visit clinicinacan.org.

Headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., Heart to Heart International (HHI) is a global humanitarian organization focused on improving access to health. Since its inception in 1992, HHI has delivered medical aid and supplies worth $2.4 billion to more than 130 countries, including within the United States. HHI responds to natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. The organization is a 4-star Charity Navigator charity, a BBB Accredited charity and is on the “Philanthropy 400.” To learn more, visit hearttoheart.org