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National Jewish Health (U.S.)

 Organization

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 1373 Collections and/or Records:

Administrative Policy and Finance Committee, 1976

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0038.0054
Abstract Correspondence to and from Richard Bluestein regarding the administrative policy and finance committee
Dates: 1976

Administrative Policy Committee, 1976-1980

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0039.0023
Abstract Correspondence related to Richard Bluestein and administrative policy committee
Dates: 1976-1980

Administrative Policy Committee, 1976-1980

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0038.0003
Abstract Correspondence to and from Richard Bluestein regarding the aministrative policy committee
Dates: 1976-1980

Administrative Policy Committee, 1978

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0038.0023
Abstract Correspondence to and from Richard Bluestein regarding the administrative policy committee
Dates: 1978

Administrative Team Meetings, 1976

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0038.0055
Abstract Correspondence to and from Richard Bluestein regarding the administrative team meetings
Dates: 1976

Admission Committee Reports, 1968

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0009.0024
Abstract scheduled admissions, admission lists
Dates: 1968

Admissions, 1960-1970

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0037.0001
Abstract Correspodence to and from Richard Bluestein regarding admissions, letters and memorandums
Dates: 1960-1970

Admissions Committee Meeting, 1960

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0017.0001
Scope and Contents From the Collection: The collection includes annual reports, correspondence, limited patient records, meeting minutes, financial statements, reports, scrapbooks, photographs, sound discs, and objects from 1899 to 2009. The items reveal patient demographics and characteristics as well as detailed information regarding the early treatment of tuberculosis.
Dates: 1960

Admissions Correspondence, 1972-1975

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0021.0005
Abstract Correspondence related to admissions, policies, procedures, etc.
Dates: 1972-1975

Admissions Correspondence, 1968-1971

 File
Identifier: B005.01.0021.0006
Abstract Correspondence related to admissions, policies, procedures, etc.
Dates: 1968-1971