A Fresh Focus – An Enduring Commitment

Since 2012, FOT has been committed to developing the relationships and resources that will help Tenwek Hospital fulfill its mission. This powerful network of physicians and donors has provided vital support to a wide range of needs and initiatives at Tenwek.

To date, FOT has invested nearly $1.3 million of financial assistance to advance Tenwek’s medical and spiritual care. Fifteen medical specialty “Champions” have worked diligently to recruit their colleagues for short-term medical mission visits to Tenwek where they share their knowledge and expertise with Tenwek staff while caring for patients.

FOT’s fresh focus on supporting Tenwek’s medical and spiritual education initiatives aligns with its foundational purpose and positions FOT to continue as a valuable partner to and participant in Tenwek’s mission.

“The goals for FOT’s future fundraising projects will be to support medical and spiritual education needs as identified in partnership with Tenwek Hospital leaders.

We are committed to this work because of its profound spiritual dimension. It’s not just humanitarian work – the love of God and the redeeming hope of life in Christ is being extended to patients and families throughout Kenya and all of Africa.”

Dr. David Hoover, President, Friends of Tenwek


FOT’s New Fundraising Focus

Fundraising will support Tenwek’s medical and spiritual education initiatives

 During its recent annual meeting, the FOT Board of Directors and a number of its medical specialty “Champions” engaged in a robust discussion about what draws physicians to serve and support the mission and work of Tenwek Hospital.

FOT Board President, Dr. David Hoover, summed up the conversation this way. “As a rule, we physicians enjoy training others and passing our knowledge on to the next generation – to create a multiplying effect of education and experience.”

Tenwek provides exceptional training to the physicians, nurses, and clinical officers (physician assistants) who are enrolled in a range of educational programs offered there, including Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) residency training in the areas of general surgery, orthopedics, cardiac surgery, and soon, OB/GYN. A significant expansion of the scope and facilities for Tenwek’s International School of Chaplaincy also is underway.

Visiting physicians add a vital dimension of training to Tenwek’s medical staff, interns, clinical officers, and nursing students as they bring their expertise and experience to short-term mission assignments arranged through World Medical Mission.

This focus on sharing medical education and clinical expertise to empower and equip the next generation of African physicians will guide FOT’s ongoing support for Tenwek Hospital. The goals for future fundraising projects will be to support medical and spiritual education needs as identified in partnership with Tenwek Hospital leaders.

 FOT will create a catalog that details the many ways this new focus on medical and spiritual education can be supported by donors. This could include, for example, sponsorships for resident’ training, housing for residents, scholarships for medical and chaplaincy students, and construction of new facilities for the School of Chaplaincy, as well as other needs that are identified.

This new focus for FOT fundraising affirms its longstanding commitment to Tenwek Hospital’s status as a Christian community with a unique medical and spiritual mission to heal, train, and send for the glory of God. “We are committed to this work because of its profound spiritual dimension,” says Dr. Hoover. “It’s not just humanitarian work – the love of God and the redeeming hope of life in Christ is being extended to patients and families throughout Kenya and all of Africa.”

Tenwek Opens Renal & Oncology Unit

New services provide much-needed care for underserved patients

 Tenwek Hospital’s ability to serve the needs of patients presenting with kidney disease and cancer was immeasurably strengthened with the September opening of a new Renal and Oncology Unit (ROU). FOT raised more than half of the $190,000 cost to renovate and equip an existing building in the first phase of a longer-term plan to house these services permanently in a dedicated facility. This support includes contracting for the provision of five dialysis machines which are scheduled to be operating on-site early next year.

According to John Spriegel, M.D., a long-time missionary doctor at Tenwek, the hospital has become an important referral hospital for much of Western Kenya, but previously was unable to treat patients needing dialysis and renal replacement therapy or chemotherapy. While these patients were referred to services in Nairobi, Dr. Spriegel acknowledges that some could not manage the travel and expense and simply went home to die. “We also know that, like many of our patients, those who come to us with renal disease and cancer need the spiritual touch of Christ’s healing ministry and not just the medicines that we have to offer.”

Rev. Elijah Bii, Director of Spiritual Ministries at Tenwek Hospital, leads the staff in prayer at the dedication of the ROU.

The new facility was renovated to provide comfort, dignity, and privacy for patients who need dialysis and chemotherapy treatments. It features examination and administration rooms for dialysis and chemotherapy, equipment for telemedicine consults, offices for clinicians, and specialized areas for water processing and the storage and preparation of chemotherapeutic agents. The medical equipment and furnishings purchased to launch this new service – including dialysis and water purification machines and the chemotherapy preparation hood – will be moved to the ROU’s permanent location when that project is completed in several years.

A detailed financial and staffing plan will ensure the ROU’s sustainability. For example, Kenya’s National Health Insurance Fund covers the cost of twice-weekly dialysis. A training program for five renal medicine staff members has been developed with colleagues at another Kenyan teaching and referral hospital and two nurses have been hired. Two clinical officers with higher diplomas in oncology care are on staff at Tenwek and the hospital’s head pharmacist has advanced training in chemotherapy medications.

Moses Tanui, a Clinical Officer/Medical Oncologist with a decade of service at Tenwek, will work in the ROU. “We are all very excited to begin this service which has never before been available here,” he explains. “We are excited for our donors’ support and now, as patients are being touched, even God will be excited with what we are doing.”

Thank you to the generous and faithful FOT donors who helped make this vital project a reality in record time!


Meet the FOT Ambassador – Janie Leland

Janie Leland was appointed the new FOT Ambassador and arrived at Tenwek in June. She serves on-site at Tenwek Hospital to help us make essential connections with U.S. physicians, welcoming visitors into the FOT family. She hosts visiting staff and families at the guest house and provides information and insights about ministry opportunities within the Tenwek community. She also gathers news and stories to keep the Friends of Tenwek informed about what’s happening at Tenwek today.

Janie and her sister Caroline

Originally from Tarboro, North Carolina, Janie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin last year with a degree in Community Education. In 1990, Janie’s parents lived and worked at Tenwek Hospital as newlyweds, then returned with their five children in 2002 for a short-term trip, so she’s especially thrilled to return to a place formative in her childhood.

Janie has loved her first months as the FOT Ambassador. “It has been a joy and delight to live and work at Tenwek Hospital. My favorite part of the job is meeting YOU – long conversations at mealtimes, spending time together volunteering at the hospital, town trips to Bomet … and the list continues! It’s been an honor and privilege to get to know some of the most amazing folks in the world. As the supporters of Tenwek Hospital, you truly are the heartbeat of FOT. Thank you for your generosity and eagerness to connect to the work of the hospital and the greater Tenwek community, because you are blessing more people than you know. Feel welcome to come join us at Tenwek – there’s always more room at the table!”

You can keep up with Janie and her Tenwek adventures on her blog: totalcutegirl.wordpress.com. We are thrilled to have Janie working at Tenwek to enhance and expand the FOT community!