1935: Colonial Kenyan government granted Mr. Hotchkiss 10 acres at the Tenwek site. Mr. Hotchkiss then turned the property over to World Gospel Mission. Robert Smith and his family moved to Tenwek and began work on the earliest buildings. Mrs. Catherine Smith began treating illnesses, delivering babies, and dispensing medicines from the new mission station. At the same time Robert Smith looked to the falls as a potential power source. He dreamed of installing a hydroelectric plant.
1937: Gertrude “Trudy” Shyrock joined the team as Tenwek station's first fully trained nurse. Seeing that the medical work was growing quickly and was a great aid in ministering to the Kipsigis people, the missionaries at Tenwek began asking the board of WGM to send them a doctor.
1949: The light plant, donated by the McNeal family, arrived and in the same year an extra plot of land was granted to the mission for building a hospital. The first permanent building on the new hospital plot was the chapel. This chapel, located in the center of the hospital grounds is still in use today, and is a testimony to the Christ-centered nature of Tenwek Hospital.
1959: Twenty-two years after the field began asking for a doctor, Dr. Ernie Steury and his wife Sue arrived in Kenya along with their daughter Cindy. The clinic had grown into Tenwek Hospital. Proposal for a new administrative building at the hospital. The building was completed in 1962 and was a great improvement to the care that Dr. Steury and the nurses could provide.
1966: Vice President Daniel Arap Moi visited Kaboson and broke ground for the new 8-bed ward.
1969: Dr. Steury’s burden as the only full-time doctor at Tenwek was relieved with the coming of Dr. Bob Wesche. The addition of another full time medical doctor was a definite asset to the work of Tenwek Hospital.
1971: The daily business of the hospital was so great the mission realized that there was a need for a hospital administrator. Rev. Ezekiel Kerich was sent to Nairobi for training.
1973: Another outstation clinic developed. Edwin Kirui had been sent by Africa Gospel Church as the first missionary to Chepnyal, West Pokot. Mr. Kirui and his wife, Sarah, soon set up a dispensary.
1975: Rev. David Kilel took over as the full-time chaplain.
1981: Through World Medical Mission, World Medical Mission director, Franklin Graham, raised funds for a major building project at Tenwek.Construction on the Johana Ng’etich Medical Center was begun in 1981 and the new ward was opened in 1985.
1983: Nurse Susan Carter and Dr. David Stevens set up and established the Community Health program. Today the Tenwek Community Health program is a model for similar programs throughout the world.
1985: Barbara Pinkley completed her course to become a Kenya Registered Community Health Nurse. Her new qualifications allow her to go on with co-establishing the School of Nursing with Dr. Mary Hermiz.
1987: Tenwek School of Nursing opens under the first principal, Dr. Mary Hermiz.
1987: The completion of the hydroelectric dam supplies Tenwek with a sustainable, reliable power source, drastically enhancing hospital function for years to come.
1991: Tenwek began training chaplains for hospital, military, and prison services through the L. Nelson Bell Chaplains School - the only one of its kind in East Africa. This continues on today.
1995: Establishment of the medical internship program at Tenwek Hospital emphasized the importance of training East African physicians as part of the Tenwek Hospital Mission.
1997: ASHA (American Schools and Hospitals Abroad) completes construction of twin buildings that now house the eye clinic, laboratory, canteen, wound ward and support services.
2004: The Family Medicine Department was developed.
2005: The new operating theater and medical education building are completed, thanks to generous donations from Samaritan's Purse and numerous private donors.
2007: Tenwek Mission Hospital began its General Surgery Residency Training Program, in partnership with College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), and Moi University.
2008: TCHD began the Community Capacity Building program. The foundational concept of CCB is that the people of the community are the most equipped to uniquely identify their needs and problems.
2011: Tenwek hospital unveils a new CT scanner, donated by Toshiba, significantly advancing the hospital's diagnostic capabilities.
2013: Tenwek Hospital fully integrated an electronic medical records keeping system.
2014: The project team gathered to break ground on the new Tenwek Eye and Dental Building. With the help of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), a branch of USAID that has provided a $1,800,000 grant for the project.
2014: Tenwek becomes the first location for a PAACS Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program under PAACS and COSECSA.
2014: Installation of a second hydroelectric generator greater than triples the energy production capacity of Tenwek, meeting the current and anticipated needs of the Hospital for the next 20 years.
For a more complete history of the Tenwek Mission, read "The Miracle at Tenwek", by Gregg Lewis