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April 12, 2012

Hospitals of Hope

Volunteer in Training Event Recap

Heather Bohrer

by Jennifer Collins
Community Relations Team Member

On April 3, I visited Hospitals of Hope with a group of YP volunteers to learn about their Clinic in a Can program, and see what we could do to help. As the first segment in Community Relations “Volunteers in Training” program, I was excited to see our program take action. Community Relations formed “Volunteers in Training” (VIT) to increase YP’s awareness of volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits in the community.
Hospitals of Hope is well known in the international medical community for its passion for providing basic medical care to countries in need. Their latest initiative is an innovative, self-contained medical clinic, which they’ve branded as “Clinic in a Can”. Clinic in a Can was born as a way to provide medical care in a sanitary hospital environment in the most impoverished countries around the world. The clinic has also served as a disaster response mobilized care unit.  I had no idea what to expect of this product, but it only took a few minutes for me to see what all the buzz was about.

After a quick introduction of the nonprofit by Tricia Erickson, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator for Hospitals of Hope, she led us into a large warehouse, where four 40-foot shipping containers, in different stages of renovation, were housed. Looking down the line, at one end sat an old rusty shipping container, as you would imagine an old shipping container that has seen years of use in the elements. At the other end of the line sat a very modern looking renovated structure. We could not believe the transformation an old shipping container could make with just 22 days of renovations. Tricia toured us through the “Clinic in a Can”, showing us two exam rooms, and a laboratory that looked like the inside of my doctor’s office.  We learned that one of the first “Clinics in a Can” was built and shipped to Haiti following the earthquake in January 2010.
Following our tour, Tricia led us to the second part of the VIT experience – where we do some work! Tricia explained that the “Clinic in a Can” is outfitted with as many donated medical supplies as possible. And sorting, organizing and inventorying those supplies is quite a challenge. Tricia showed us tables loaded with miscellaneous medical supplies – some labeled, and some not. We sorted, identified and logged as many supplies as we could on an inventory sheet that would later be loaded into an inventory system. In addition to organizing the medical supply inventory, Tricia explained they have many other areas of need in which YP’s could fulfill, including the day to day operations of the business, marketing consultation and more.

For more information about Hospitals of Hope and to find out how you can help, visit, or contact Tricia at

Stay tuned for our next Volunteer in Training event!

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