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!

Tenwek New Oncology Unit

New Oncology Unit: A Priority for Tenwek Hospital and FOT

New service will provide coordinated, comprehensive care for patients with cancer

For decades, Tenwek Hospital has been unable to meet the critical medical needs of cancer patients. This is not unusual in a nation that is still developing medical systems and solutions that can be delivered in rural and remote regions. But addressing the need for earlier detection, proper diagnosis, and effective treatment of multiple kinds of cancer has become a top priority for Tenwek Hospital leaders. The commitment to provide oncology services reflects their dedication to maintaining the hospital’s designation as a Christian teaching and referral hospital at the highest level.

John Spriegel, M.D., a long-time missionary doctor at Tenwek, knows first-hand the critical need to add a comprehensive oncology service. “While Tenwek has become a referral hospital in many medical specialties for much of Western Kenya, we are also referring out two cancer patients each day. Some of these patients can handle the travel and expense of seeking treatment in Nairobi. But most, in fact, go home and die. And, like many of our patients, those who come to us with cancer need the spiritual touch of Christ’s healing ministry and not just the medicines we that we have to offer.”

Development of a Dedicated Oncology Unit is Underway

“Tenwek’s Oncology Unit will usher in a new era of outpatient oncology care,” continues Dr. Spriegel. “It will be the only service of its kind in the region to offer coordinated cancer care that encompasses diagnosis and treatment for a range of cancers.”

The new Oncology Unit will be established in two phases. Renovations are underway in an existing building to transform it into a patient-centered, hygienic area that promotes comfort, dignity, and privacy for individuals receiving chemotherapy treatments. The building improvements include floor tiling, painting, new wiring for electrical outlets and computer stations, enhanced lighting, and additional outside doors.

When renovations are complete, the building will feature examination and administration rooms for chemotherapy, offices for clinicians, and specialized areas for processing, storing, and preparing treatments. The medical equipment and furnishings purchased to launch this new service – including a chemotherapy hood – will be moved to the Oncology Unit’s permanent location in the Steury Building when expansion and renovations there are completed in several years.

Tenwek’s financial and staffing plan will ensure the unit’s sustainability. Two clinical officers with higher diplomas in oncology care currently are on staff at Tenwek. The hospital’s head pharmacist has advanced training in chemotherapy medications. Additional oncology nursing training and consultation services are being developed with colleagues at another Kenyan teaching and referral hospital.

The cost to open the phase one version of the Oncology Unit is $182,000 USD. This includes renovation expenses, specialized treatment equipment, and furnishings.

Recognizing both the need to offer cancer care and Tenwek Hospital’s commitment to adding this critical new service, Friends of Tenwek has made the Oncology Unit one of its top fundraising priorities for 2019. FOT is committed to raise $91,000 – half of the necessary funds.

Your gift today in support of the Oncology Unit will extend life and hope to patients with cancer and ensure that Tenwek’s exceptional medical and spiritual care will be delivered in this new specialty area for years to come. You can make a gift here.


The Faith Fund for Special Needs

This fund was named for Faith, one of the first children to be treated at Tenwek’s Special Needs Clinic, which opened in 2015. Born with spina bifida, Faith spent the first seven years of her life at home crawling on her hands and knees. After evaluation at the SNC, she was fitted with special shoes and a pediatric walker and her life was transformed. Today, Faith is thriving and attending school where she has reached Grade 3 and is a stellar student. She walks with the assistance of forearm crutches and leg braces which, because of her growing body, need replacement twice a year.

Donations to the Faith fund are used to cover SNC costs, including therapy visits and adaptive equipment – expenses that the children’s families cannot afford. Last year, FOT’s more than $20,000 of support included the purchase of 34 wheelchairs suitable for rural terrain – each one representing God’s love and providing a child with the opportunity to engage life in an exciting new way.


Radiology Continues to Advance at Tenwek

New 64-Slice CT Scanner is latest enhancement

 When FOT helped Tenwek purchase and install a 4-slice Toshiba CT scanner in 2011, it was the only such diagnostic machine within a three-hour drive of the hospital – and it was the beginning of a new era of diagnostic radiology at Tenwek Hospital.

FOT’s Radiology Champion, Read Vaughan, M.D., was one of only two visiting radiologists at that time. The advent of CT scanning brought a critical need for more radiologist support. In response, Read launched a recruitment campaign that has had impressive results.

Today, Tenwek’s Radiology Department performs over 3,500 CT scans annually. Readings are done by visiting radiologists who work on-site for 30-34 weeks each year. For the remaining weeks, scans are read by 36 volunteer radiologists across the U.S. and Canada, using a cloud-based teleradiology system called Nucleus.

In addition, Read spearheaded the ART (Advancing Radiology at Tenwek) fundraising effort that raised over $400,000 to expand and remodel Tenwek’s Radiology Department and equip it with three new x-ray and four new ultrasound machines. (Learn more here.)

Most recently, the need to replace the antiquated Toshiba CT scanner and its exorbitant maintenance contract became a priority. FOT provided $50,000 towards the $350,000 purchase price and offered an interest-free loan of $150,000 to the hospital to facilitate acquisition of a new 64-slice Siemens Go Up CT scanner. It brings CT angiography and other essential capabilities to Tenwek and supports the hospital’s new services in Neuroradiology and Pediatric Surgery.

 An Immediate Life-Saver 

Peris Chebet is a 14-year-old Kenyan girl who presented at Tenwek with life threatening bleeding from her gastrointestinal track. An ultrasound showed her gallbladder full of clotted blood; an endoscopy confirmed that she was bleeding from inside her liver.

To perform the life-saving surgery Peris required, surgeons needed to know where the bleed inside her liver was originating. Prior to the installation of Tenwek’s new CT scanner, there was no way to provide this crucial information. But thanks to the new high-resolution machine, physicians were able to order a CT Angiogram of Peris’ abdomen which allowed radiologists to precisely identify a pseudoaneurysm in the right lobe of her liver.

Pediatric surgeon Michael Gainey and Tenwek surgeon Justus Lando were able to successfully block the artery and stop the bleeding. Six days later, Peris used the hand that had been extended for help from beneath her surgical drapes to wave a grateful goodbye as she went home from Tenwek. Her message to the doctors and donors who saved her: “This hand thanks you for its life!”


Threads of Hope

Claiming God’s Plan for a Future and a Hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Threads of Hope is a vocational training center for vulnerable women living in extreme poverty in the greater Bomet area. It was founded under the direction of Tenwek Community Health and Development in February 2018.  Suzie Vaughan, who travels to Tenwek for service each year with her husband, Read Vaughan, M.D., was instrumental in creating and developing the program.

During an eight-month tailoring apprenticeship, women gain vocational training and life skills, develop business acumen, and receive spiritual mentorship. Their work produces school uniforms for orphans, sanitary pads for use in prisons and schools, purses, aprons and other items for sale to visitors. “As our women find a sense of community, acceptance, and encouragement, we pray that their sense of dignity, self-worth and hope is restored,” says Suzie, who is pictured at left with the second class of sewing apprentices.

At graduation, women have achieved competency and their sewing has “earned” the value of one-third the price of a treadle sewing machine ($50 of the $150 USD total cost). FOT provided the funds to purchase and award each graduate of the first class a new machine, enabling her to return to her village and begin a new business.

The first five graduates have been on their own for seven months. All are using their sewing skills and machines to support themselves and their families. One woman has opened a small shop, another works at a tea factory making bags to carry tea leaves, and three others sew uniforms and do mending for their villages. Every member of that first class recently returned to Tenwek to celebrate the graduation of the second class of six apprentices. Training for a third group of women is underway.

The impact of this effort reaches far beyond the women themselves – the 11 students and two teachers involved so far are mothers of 32 children! Upon seeing Suzie this year, one of the first graduates gave her a warm embrace and said, “Thank you for changing my life. Not a day goes by that I cannot find a way to make some money using my machine.”

You can make a financial gift to support Threads of Hope by using this secure online form.


Your Giving Creates Impact!

Since FOT began to build a network of supporters for Tenwek Hospital in 2012, it has funded numerous projects that enhance the medical and spiritual care extended to hospital patients and their surrounding communities. Every gift supports Tenwek’s mission of providing compassionate health care that reflects the love of Christ for all people. All of FOT’s funding decisions are made in full partnership with Tenwek Hospital leaders – their priorities are our priorities! We also support outreach programs that enhance the health, spiritual life, and well-being of residents in the greater Bomet area.

FOT Sets Fundraising Record in 2018

FOT received $805,972 USD in donations in 2018 – the highest amount raised since inception! With an all-volunteer staff, FOT expenses are kept to a minimum; just 5% of revenue ($40,438) was needed for fundraising, communications, and operational expenses. That means 95% of every dollar raised was available to support the mission and work of Tenwek Hospital.

2018 Highlights:

  • Since 2014, FOT has provided $217,000 USD (50% of the total cost) to renovate and equip the Bomet Annex, with $63,000 donated in 2018. Tenwek’s first outpatient clinic located beyond the main hospital campus opened in August 2018 and over 10,000 patents have been treated there to date!
  • Following a serious fire at Tenwek in February 2017, FOT raised a total $247,000 USD to assist with restoration efforts. Early gifts provided immediate relief for critical needs, which allowed all vital service to become quickly operational. Additional gifts supported rebuilding efforts and safety improvements that continued throughout 2018.
  • FOT provided $50,000 and a $150,000 interest-free loan that enabled Tenwek Hospital to purchase a new, 64-slice Siemens CT Scanner to replace an aging 4-slice scanner installed in 2011.
  • To support a new vision for the Tenwek Hospital College School of Chaplaincy, FOT invested $10,000 USD to help develop a new, three-year curriculum that will train chaplains from throughout Africa for service in hospitals, prisons, and schools; for work with police and the military; and for front-line service in times of natural disaster or national trauma.
  • Donations to support housing for residents training in various medical specialties at Tenwek totaled $37,339 USD.

This is an inspiring record of outstanding support from hundreds of dedicated donors.

Thank you! 


Tenwek and FOT Celebrate Opening of Bomet Annex

Joy – gratitude – excitement. These sentiments and more were on display August 25, 2018 when the Tenwek Hospital Annex – Bomet, a freestanding outpatient clinic – officially opened in Bomet. Hospital and church leaders, government officials, representatives from Friends of Tenwek (FOT), and Bomet residents gathered to celebrate the milestone achievement.

Bomet Country Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso joined African Gospel Bishop Rev. Dr. Robert Lang’at, and Tenwek Hospital CEO Geoffrey Langat in thanking everyone who contributed to the success of the project, which began with the purchase of the land and building in 2014.

FOT Board member and Treasurer Don Hoover represented the scores of donors whose gifts helped fund the project. Since providing an early gift of $40,000 to assist with the purchase of the building, FOT donors have contributed over $217,000 to renovate and furnish the clinic. This includes purchase of x-ray, EKG, and defibrillator equipment, as well as nearly $112,000 in construction costs that were matched by funds from Tenwek Hospital.

At leftLeaders from Tenwek Hospital, Africa Gospel Church, local government, and FOT gather for a dedication prayer.

In a dedication prayer, Don expressed the hopes of all FOT donors. “Dr. Ernie Steury, the first doctor of Tenwek Hospital was known for his compassionate hands. So I pray that patients coming to this clinic will experience the compassionate hands that make ‘We Treat… Jesus Heals’ a reality.”

Extensive renovations transformed the former nursing home structure into a modern, attractive, accessible facility that will serve the residents of Bomet for years to come.  A new roof, floors, walls, plumbing, and windows were installed. The interior provides a spacious waiting area, private exam and treatment rooms, and areas for diagnostic x-ray and laboratory services. Exterior improvements include the widening of the access ramp, a new parking area, stone paths, entrance portico, and landscaping.

At left: Tenwek CEO Geoffrey Langat (right) touring the pharmacy with the Bomet County Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso and regional health officials.


Outpatient services are available Monday through Saturday with on-site care offered by a Medical or Clinical Officer. The clinic offers laboratory, ultrasound, x-ray, and pharmacy services. Counseling and Chaplain resources also are available.

The projected need for a satellite outpatient clinic available to working people unable to visit the main Tenwek campus has been immediately confirmed.  By the end of September, the new clinic had already served over 1,800 patients, with September clinic visits averaging 36 patients per day.

Tenwek Hospital’s enduring message – We Treat, Jesus Heals – is resonating in a new way throughout Bomet. As word spreads about the compassion and care available from Tenwek staff at the clinic, the hospital’s medical and spiritual mission will impact thousands of new patients.

Thank you to every FOT donor who helped make the Bomet Annex a reality! Your generosity is a true blessing to the people of Kenya!