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Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital Chasing A Dream...

Updated: Mar 3





Henry David Thoreau is credited with the famous, motivational quote, “Don’t follow your dreams… chase them!” He continued his reflection by saying, “I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Such is the story and theme of Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital. What started out as a vision and dream a decade ago… came to fruition in 2021, when on March 1st the ribbon was cut… the doors were open… and patients near Kimana, Kenya began being served.


The first day the clinic was open, the TEAM, consisting of two medical officers, a nurse, an x-ray and lab tech, a pharmacist, an accountant and front desk manager, saw just 6 patients. But they knew this number would grow as they committed to the affirmation that hangs just inside the entrance hall. It reads,


“Today we have another opportunity to fulfill our PROMISE to our patients. We Put our patients first. We Respect them and remain Open-minded to their needs. We treat our patient’s Mind, body and spirit and uphold Integrity by remaining true to our word. Our Service is superior to all and second to none. Every day… in every way… we have another opportunity to fulfill our PROMISE to our patients!”


Today, the TEAM has grown to three medical officers, two nurses and a total support staff of 13. They average 65 patient visits per day… serving nearly 4000 individual patients to date. Little miracles in healing are happening every day and people from all walks of life, near and far, are talking and traveling great distances to visit the hospital. During our visit in September, there were patients traveling from the Tanzanian border; three hours away by bus! And why wouldn’t they?!? With the help from special donors, large and small… the clinic has been able to secure state-of-the-art, diagnostic, and therapeutic equipment. We’ve even downloaded computer software to allow friends from the US, (and all over the world for that matter) to assist the team in reading complicated images from x-ray and ultrasound. We are so appreciative of the help from doctors like, Dr. Nick Hatton and Dr. Scott Smith who are able to assist in diagnosing and treatment planning from halfway around the world when complicated cases present themselves. We are appreciative of the Manual Therapy Healing Center being presently built where chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists, and other specialties are able to combine allopathic medicine with manual therapy. We are grateful for the maternity and surgical centers in plan and on the agenda for 2022. And finally, we are SO grateful for our generous donors who have given one-time gifts as well as monthly pledges to continue supporting the facility and staff. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to raise $203,000 to cover the cost of our original, start-up equipment and staff. Thus far, as of our records to date, we have successfully raised over $190,000. Our chief, capital campaign, consultant Frank Molek, who’s gifts, talents and experience continue to bless us as he sits on the KMH Board of Directors, likens our accomplishment and challenge to finish strong using a baseball metaphor. “We’ve rounded third and are heading for home!” And he’s so correct! My hope as the year comes to an end is that we can finish strong… reach and exceed our goal… celebrate ALL those who’ve helped us be successful through this journey… and then plan for another amazing year for 2022 as we expand the healthcare services we bring to our wonderful brothers and sisters of Kenya! In closing, I’d like to end with a toast and blessing from another part of the world. From our Irish friends who know how to toast so well…

May there always be work for your hands to do; May your purse always hold a coin or two; May the sun always shine on your window pane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; And may the hand of a friend always be near you. Slainte!


REACHING THE PEAK OF KILIMANJARO

By Frank Molek

As is often the case with a comprehensive, worthy-cause, campaign, there are many elements to the project. The initial enthusiasm from supporters is infectious. As a result of early, and often large ‘lead’ gifts, others are motivated to contribute as well. But as the campaign progresses, smaller though no less important, gifts become the norm. Often the effort tends to wane. At this point a special infusion of money to create momentum is necessary to bring the project to total success. Such was the case with the Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital’s comprehensive, fund-raising campaign. In short order, after opening its doors in March of 2021, KMH has served thousands of patients with tens of thousands of clinic visits. The hospital is changing and saving people’s lives! Our goal from the very start was to raise $203,000 for essential equipment and operational costs to allow those doctors, nurses and care givers working in the hospital to deliver quality care and service to the people of Kenya. But when the campaign reached $130,000 of its overall goal in September of 2021, the momentum began to slide.

The good news is that transformative philanthropists, people who care deeply to make this world a better place for those living in it, want to see initial giving success from all sources. By September, 2021, all Board members had committed significant leadership funds totaling $32,000, and confirmed $98,000 in commitments from other generous donors. This is exactly the philosophy of the members of the K.A.H.R. Foundation Board. While there are many compelling cases requesting philanthropic support, nothing is as critical as showing the philanthropic world that internal leadership is placing its own financial support behind that which it says is so important. The K.A.H.R. Foundation Board members are just such people who, when considering a heartfelt plea, and viewing the support already achieved, see themselves as providing a renewed impetus to complete the effort. Thus, of the remaining $73,000 in September to reach the overall goal by 2021 year-end, they agreed to fund the final $35,000, contingent on the leadership confirming commitments for the first $38,000 of that total. The Challenge effort provided new energy to leadership “to give and to get” additional gifts, from previous donors to the campaign, to resolve commitments from those yet unresolved, and to begin conversations with still others who have not yet considered a gift. A grand total of $194,907 has been confirmed as of this writing, including the magnificent closing gift of the K.A.H.R. Family Foundation. THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to this wonderful cause. And THANK YOU to those of you who have motivated others to finish this 2021 campaign effort strong!!


Employee Spotlight

By Scott Smith, D.O.



I am truly humbled working with the KMH team of exceptional hardworking staff. Yesterday I received an E-mail from a patient who had been injured at work. He wrote, “I want you to know how impressed I was with the facility, services available and how the team treated me.” Kudos to each of you for the great job! In our last quarterly newsletter we featured registered nurse, Tess, who singlehandedly developed the nursing department until last month when another nurse was hired. In this newsletter we will feature Purity Resian, a pharmaceutical technologist who came on board July 19th, 2021. In her own words I will let her tell you about herself.


“I love being a pharmacist because I like working with people and providing solutions to their health problems. I am committed to the patient’s well-being and them coming back to say that they are feeling better gives me joy. Pharmacy is not only a platform where I practice my career , but it’s also my place of service of God and the community. The best thing about working at KMH is I get to fulfill the purpose God created me to do. Working with dedicated, passionate, committed and dependable colleagues has made working at KMH worthwhile.

The best part about my job is to get to see patients everyday and make a difference in their lives.

My favorite verse is Philippians 4:16 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” And Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your hearts and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”


 

Happening Soon! January 2022

Our yearly medical trip with Rocky Vista University and the Hands for Health Foundation is coming up in January! This trip will include about 30 people from RVU and Hands for Health plus some more volunteers from all over the planet! Looking forward to many stories and pictures from this month long medical mission and we will be sure to share them with you! Please keep this trip and the people involved in your prayers.


 

CHAI TIME STORIES

By Leah Hofer

Hello friends! It’s Chai Time!! So grab a cup of tea. Mix in a little milk (chai). Settle into a nice comfy chair… and let’s chat. I was asked to share a Kenya story I experienced this past September while visiting Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital. As I relive my memories and look back at my pictures, there are just so many wonderful events that it is hard to pick just one to share. From the crazy traffic in road construction coming out of Nairobi; the T-Rex that was in my room one evening (it was really just a gecko. I’m definitely not used to having them sleep with me!); practicing my Swahili and the mistakes I made; and the elephant that walked so close to our Land Cruiser that he had to swing his backend to the left just to avoid hitting our side mirror! All great snippets of Kenya to write about, but… my heart wants to share about my visit to Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital and the amazing people working there.


The last time I saw the clinic, it was under construction. We were visiting a school in Kimana, Kenya, and as I was hopping on the bus, I saw the start of what was someday to be a clinic. I checked it out through the chain link fence. Took a picture or two, (for those who know me….it is never just one picture!), said a prayer for the clinic, the construction workers and its future success… and off we went. Honestly, it was a quick “saw it” and moved on. It felt like it was a long way from completion. My head was thinking about other Kenya things.


Fast forward to September of this year. We unloaded our luggage at Panina & Kenny’s, (the generous folks who donated the land where the hospital is built), and as we walked around the gate to the clinic, I just stopped… and stood in AWE. And the word, “Awe” just does not do this moment justice. Breath taking! Not able to speak! This wave of emotion that came over me! I couldn’t believe that the building was finished and open to serve patients. The beauty of the design and Maasai symbolization… it was perfect! I stood and watched from a distance as people walked in and out of the clinic. I felt a lump rise up in the back of my throat as tears welled in my eyes. The amazement… and relief that the clinic was finally open and people were being served was overwhelming. Wow!! Thank you Jesus! Time to refill your chai! And I need to get a Kleenex. And where to go from this “Awe” moment?

Walking into the clinic, the first thing you see is the beautiful center space. The tree in the middle is such a reflection of life. The calm sense of, “I’m in the right place. I’m going to be taken care of. I feel peace.” is palpable. And that carries me into the people. The entire staff at KMH was so welcoming and friendly. They invited us in to sit with them. They taught us about their jobs, the process of serving patients, their experiences and themselves. I know this is a “less than a paragraph” mention of the staff and it certainly doesn’t do their hospitality justice. Yet, I feel that maybe, it would be better described in pictures. Their smiles, their focus on their work, their wanting to be the hands and feet of Jesus. THIS IS WHAT MAKES KMH STANDOUT!


People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou


Wellness Tips

Dental Health

There is a saying that "the eyes are the window to the soul" and whether that's true or not, the mouth is a window to our overall health. Having an unhealthy mouth can lead to a multitude of health issues that extend beyond those chompers.


  1. Don't go to bed without brushing your teeth.

  2. Don't forget to brush your tongue.

  3. Use a toothpaste with fluoride.

  4. Floss daily.

  5. Drink plenty of water.

  6. Limit sugary and acidic foods and try to brush immediately after eating these types of foods.

  7. Stay away from tobacco products.



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