Celebrating a Legacy of Partnership and Impact

by Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa and other USAID implementing partners gathered at the Radisson Blu in Upperhill to bid farewell to John Kuehnle, the outgoing Director for Health Population and Nutrition at USAID Kenya. This event was a heartfelt tribute to John’s remarkable contributions and the lasting impact of his work and a celebration of a partnership that has profoundly shaped health initiatives across Kenya.

John Kuehnle has been a beacon of community engagement. His dedication to grassroots initiatives and his hands-on approach as a community volunteer have left an indelible mark on our collective efforts. At Amref, we’ve seen firsthand how his probing questions and thorough research have driven meaningful progress, ensuring that our projects are effective and deeply rooted in our communities.

John’s knack for securing vital resources has been a game-changer. Whether it was presenting compelling cases for national funding or strategizing for weeks to optimize resource allocation, his efforts have consistently translated into tangible benefits for our health programs. During critical times, such as the severe drought in Turkana, John’s determination to increase funding for the USAID Imarisha Jamii nutrition project demonstrated his unwavering commitment to alleviating community suffering and making a real difference.

Many speakers characterized John’s leadership by his strong advocacy for inclusivity and empowerment. He created an environment where every voice mattered, fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual respect. This approach has been instrumental in driving the success of Amref’s USAID-funded projects, including USAID Uongozi Wa Afya Thabiti and USAID Imarisha Jamii, which span 12 counties in Kenya. John’s inclusive leadership ensured that our teams were working together and thriving together, pushing the boundaries of what we could achieve.

John’s strategic vision extended to the effective utilization of resources. His insistence on making every dollar count has empowered organizations to achieve maximum impact. At Amref, we’ve benefited immensely from his approach, which has ensured that our projects deliver sustainable and meaningful outcomes. His leadership in establishing Primary Health Care Networks has laid a strong foundation for achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya, a goal that aligns closely with Amref’s mission.

The gratitude expressed by colleagues and partners at John’s farewell was a testament to his profound impact. Amref’s Dr. Chris Barasa, speaking on behalf of the Chiefs of Party Health Population and Nutrition implementing partners, highlighted John’s humility, intelligence, and engaging nature. He noted John’s passion for improving community lives, evident in every project he touched.

As John transitions to his new role in Washington, DC, we at Amref are optimistic. His practical experience and deep understanding of on-the-ground realities will influence global health policies and funding priorities. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with him and seeing the ripple effects of his impactful work on a broader scale.

“John, your tenure with USAID Kenya has been a journey of inspiration and transformation. Your ability to ask the right questions, secure critical funding, and foster an inclusive working environment has left a lasting legacy. Your engaging and hands-on approach has made our interactions with you thought-provoking and impactful. We will miss your presence in Kenya, but we are excited about the new heights you will reach in Washington, DC.”

At Amref Health Africa, we thank John Kuehnle for his unwavering support and visionary leadership. His contributions have advanced health initiatives in Kenya and strengthened our partnership with USAID. As we bid farewell, we celebrate a legacy of dedication, passion, and collaborative success. Thank you, John, for everything. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and look forward to witnessing the continued impact of your work.

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