Hospitals of Hope began when a young physician assistant, Michael Wawrzewski, took a number of short-term mission trips overseas. He was moved to action when he saw that many around the world lack basic medical care and die from easily preventable or treatable diseases such as diarrhea and malaria. He saw an eleven-year-old girl dying of untreated tuberculosis, a farmer with a fractured femur left for dead, and a baby with congenital cataracts—which left her blind for life.
In 1998, Michael joined with other Wichita, Kansas community members to found Hospitals of Hope—an organization dedicated to showing Christ’s love through the medium of medical care.
Originally, the organization focused solely on Bolivia, beginning with a small, free clinic and expanding to a 32-bed, level II hospital.
Hospitals of Hope staff and supporters soon realized that the organization had the potential to affect medical care not only in Bolivia but also in other countries around the world. We collect quality used and new medical supplies in our 8,500 square foot warehouse, sending them to mission hospitals in 40-foot shipping containers or along with mission teams in their suitcases. We also support local low-income clinics, providing supplies and equipment to enable them to continue to serve those in need in Kansas communities.
Our work expanded to Haiti in 2004 with the development of our Clinic In A Can — a self-contained clinic built in a shipping container. The first Clinic In A Can was sent in 2005 to Jefferson parish in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and later sent to Haiti. Since 2010, we have sent out eleven more clinics that provide medical care to communities in South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Haiti. Clinic In A Can has also pioneered the first fully solar powered, self-sustaining mobile medical clinic, which converts direct sunlight into sustainable energy.
In 2008, we began work in Liberia, West Africa, partnering with John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, the referral center for the entire country. We have since sent over $1.1 million of medical equipment and supplies to Liberia and have developed a partnership with ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) Hospital, where we send volunteers year-round.
We don’t know what God has planned for the future of Hospitals of Hope, but we continue to be humbled by the way he uses us and by the way he provides.