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National Jewish Hospital (U.S.)


In the late nineteenth century, Denver, Colorado, faced a severe social problem when hundreds of people severely ill with tuberculosis converged on the city, attracted by the reputation Denver had already acquired as the "world's sanatorium." Because of the onslaught of consumptives, beds for patients in city and state general hospitals were so scarce that the poor were frequently left to their own devices, often dying in the streets. One of the first people to conceive of a free hospital for the indigent tuberculosis victims in Denver was Frances Wisebart Jacobs. She launched a relentless campaign to arouse public awareness on behalf of the indigent consumptives, seeking the support of business people and political leaders to raise funds for a new hospital. Jacobs found an ally in a young rabbi, William Sterne Friedman. Rabbi Friedman enlisted the financial support of some of the trustees of his congregation, Temple Emanuel, insisting that concern for the sick and indigent had always been a vital tenet of Jewish tradition. The original hospital, the Frances Jacobs Hospital, was not completed because of the silver panic of 1893. The hospital received financial assistance from the International Order of B'nai B'rith. This vital support came mainly through the efforts of Louis Anfenger, a local Jewish citizen who was also a founder of both Temple Emanuel and the Denver chapter of B'nai B'rith. National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (NJH) opened its doors to Jews and gentiles alike in 1899 as the first sanatorium in Denver for tuberculosis victims. Samuel Grabfelder of Louisville, Kentucky served as president from 1899-1920; Seraphine Pisko was executive secretary (Director) from 1911-1938. Some of the physicians associated with the hospital included Dr. Saling Simon, Dr. Robert Levy, and Dr. John Elsner. The NJH adopted a program that emphasized the benefits of fresh air, proper nutrition, and rest.

As a result of national support, NJH introduced a revolutionary concept to tuberculosis treatment by offering free services to indigent consumptives. The motto was, "None can pay who enter, and None who enter can pay." Only patients with incipient tuberculosis, where treatment could be most effective, were to be admitted to NJH, and the length of stay was limited to six months. These conditions reflect the medical opinion of the time and the scarcity of hospital beds for consumptives. It was commonly thought that attempting to treat advanced cases only wasted time and money that could be more profitably directed toward patients who had a good chance of recovery. National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives changed its name several times, subsequently being known as National Jewish Hospital (1925-1964) and later becoming National Jewish Hospital and Research Center (1965-1977), National Jewish Hospital/National Asthma Center (after merging with National Asthma Center in 1978), and National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (1986-1996). In 1997, the organization changed its name to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center and focused on lung, allergic and immune diseases. It was renamed National Jewish Health in July 2008. The facility continues to treat patients from throughout the country, using cutting-edge medicine and research.

Found in 409 Collections and/or Records:

Letter from H. Goldberg to C.D. Spivak, 1910 April 28

Identifier: B002.01.0102.0053.00010
Overview Handwritten letter in ink with Isidore Hurwitz Library, Sanatorium JCRS letterhead from Harry Goldberg to Dr. Charles Spivak, in which he states he did not mention his stay in the National Jewish Hospital because he heard the JCRS did not take patients right after leaving the National, and he was without any meaning to support himself. He states later he found out he was mistaken, but it was too late. He excuses himself, and states he entered the National on August 2nd, 1909, and left on...
Dates: 1910 April 28

Letter from Holzman Lodge #315, O.B.A. to National Jewish Hospital, 1905 January 1

Identifier: B002.01.0097.0083.00010
Overview Typed letter from JCRS to National Jewish Hospital, dated January 1, 1905. The letter passes thanks from the Holzman Lodge #315 for admission of Hyman Wolfson. The letter is signed William Blumberg.
Dates: 1905 January 1

Letter from Lee K. Frankel to Dr. Spivak, 1906 August 20

Identifier: B002.01.0097.0200.00002
Overview Typed letter from Lee K. Frankel to Dr. Spivak, on August 20th, 1906, with "The United Hewbrew Charities of the City of New York" letterhead. The letter informs Dr. Spivak that a relative of Albert Herrman wrote to Mr. Frankel about Mr. Herrman's health. Mr. Frankel asks if it would be possible to admit Mr. Herrman to JCRS because he cannot go to the National Jewish Hospital. The letter is signed Lee K. Frankel.
Dates: 1906 August 20

Letter from L.H. Schultz to C.D. Spivak, 1911 April 17

Identifier: B002.01.0104.0035.00002
Overview Handwritten letter from Dr. L. H. Schultz of the National Jewish Hospital to C.D. Spivak. Schultz introduces Sam Berger to Spivak and tells him that he is making an application at JCRS. Schultz tells Spivak the Berger is a gentleman and thoroughly deserving patient; therefore, any assistance in his admission would be appreciated by Schultz and Berger.
Dates: 1911 April 17

Letter from M. Mendelsohn to C.D. Spivak M.D., 1908 August 18

Identifier: B002.01.0100.0013.00014
Overview Typed letter on New Haven Lodge, No. 21 letterhead from M. Mendelsohn in New Haven, Connecticut, to C.D. Spivak M.D. in Denver, Colorado, stating that last week in his City of the White Plague, a member of Mendelsohn's lodge, whose body was shipped to New Haven for internment, Max Goldstein, had died. Letter states that internment took place yesterday and asks if Max Goldstein had been a patient at the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society or at the National Jewish Hospital. Letter states that...
Dates: 1908 August 18

Letter from National Jewish Hospital to JCRS, 1943 May 19

Identifier: B002.01.0097.0016.00012
Overview Typed letter on National Jewish Hospital letterhead addressed to Mr. Ben Friedland. The letter accommpanied a copy of a letter NJH had received concerning a former patient at both hospitals, Samual Warhaftig. The letter is signed "Rose Homerang, Secretary to Mr. Schaefer."
Dates: 1943 May 19

Letter from National Jewish Hospital to JCRS

Identifier: B002.01.0097.0016.00013
Overview Typed memo from National Jewish Hospital to JCRS. The memo says that Mrs. Morris Warhaftig is looking for information about the death of her brother-in-law, Sam Warhaftig.
Dates: 1904-1943

Letter from S.S. Garson to C.D. Spivak, 1910 April 14

Identifier: B002.01.0102.0053.00005
Overview Handwritten letter in pencil by S.S. Garson to Dr. Charles Spivak, in which he states that the "late" Harry Goldberg who "died" in the sanatorium yesterday was a graduate of the National Hospital. He says that Goldberg filled his application while he was a patient of the National Hospital and was admitted to the sanatorium a week after he was discharged from his sister institution. He also states that it is right that the sanatorium should be given credit for the treatment it accords every case...
Dates: 1910 April 14

Letter from S.S. Garson to C.D. Spivak, 1910 April 23

Identifier: B002.01.0102.0053.00008
Overview Two pages handwritten letter from S.S. Garson to Dr. Charles Spivak, in which he states that when he heard a barber died, he thought it was Harry Goldberg, when it was really Soffer. He also says when Goldberg says he has not been in the Nation Jewish Hospital he is lying. He says he was in the National for 6 months and he filled his application to the JCRS while being a patient there, and that this information did not come from him, though. He says he had no intention to the man any harm, only...
Dates: 1910 April 23

Letter from the Jewish Hospital to JCRS, 1910 March 24

Identifier: B002.01.0102.0125.00002
Overview Handwritten letter from a doctor at the Jewish Hospital to JCRS. The letter is regarding patient, Abe Lieberman and informs JCRS that he has been getting care for his tuberculosis from the Jewish Hospital, but needs extra help. The letter also mentions that Lieberman would suffer if he were sent back to Russia. The letter is signed H.M., M.D. at the bottom.
Dates: 1910 March 24