Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Doctors Equip Cherokee Trailer for Afghanistan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Doctors Equip Cherokee Trailer for Afghanistan

Article excerpt

A group of Oklahoma doctors working together under the name Bridges International, aided by the building expertise of Oklahoma City-based Cherokee Trailers, will send a mobile medical clinic on a three-month voyage to Afghanistan next week.

The clinic/trailer will bring dental, optical, hearing and general medical equipment, plus more than $100,000 in pharmaceutical help, to remote regions of Afghanistan.

The medical trailer is the sixth built by Cherokee Trailers.

"Our primary building is aluminum horse and stock trailers, but we're a custom-trailer company so basically we will do anything," said Wanda Welchel. "We do anything that's feasible to do."

Wanda and her husband, Tom, own Cherokee Trailers.

She said Bridges International, which is based in Broken Arrow, first approached Cherokee Trailers about building medical units three years ago. The group needed a way to move medical equipment through the rough terrain of developing countries for mission work.

"Our trailers are built real strong and they're able to withstand some of the rough roads that maybe something else couldn't withstand," Welchel said.

She said mobile homes and vans cannot take the road conditions that pass for infrastructure in many countries, and the clinics often travel far off the beaten path.

"They take it out not just in the city," Welchel said. "They take it out where the people are."

In the past three years, Cherokee Trailers built five trailers for medical missionaries, with those trailers sent to locations as far-flung as the Ukraine, South America and Africa.

The trailer going to Afghanistan may be the first of six built for use in that war-torn land, Welchel said.

She said a modern trailer gets noticed in many countries, which actually helps medical missionaries.

"When they go into a village with this trailer, it's of course attracting attention," Welchel said.

She said most vehicles in developing countries have few lights and a "very plain" design. As a result, the look of the trailers built by Cherokee Trailers attracts attention. …

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