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National Jewish Health Celebrates 110th Anniversary with Healthcare and Leadership Symposium

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Duke Energy CEO James Rogers to Deliver Keynote Addresses

National Jewish Health celebrates its 110th anniversary today and tomorrow with a healthcare and leadership symposium featuring keynote addresses by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Duke Energy President, CEO and Chairman James Rogers.

Ritter and Rogers will address National Jewish Health Directors and National Trustees, who have come from around the nation for the symposium and its annual meeting. Ritter will discuss the environment, health and healthcare reform. Rogers, an outspoken advocate for alternative energy as a positive response to global warming, will discuss "Energy Leadership for a Healthy Economy and Environment."

Also on the agenda Friday morning are talks by David Schwartz, MD, on "Genetics, Epigenetics, and Personalized Medicine," and Jeffrey A. Kern, MD, head of the newly created Division of Oncology at National Jewish on "The Epidemic of Lung Cancer: A Personalized Approach."

Later in the day, Denver business leader Tom Gart will begin his tenure at Chairman of the Boardduring the joint directors and national trustees meeting Friday afternoon. One of his first actions will be to honor the Monfort Family Foundationfor its transformational $2.25 million gift to National Jewish, which helped launch COPDGene, the largest, most comprehensive study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ever undertaken.

"One family's generosity will change the face of this disease," said National Jewish Health Professor of Medicine James Crapo, MD.

Saturday morning National Jewish Health faculty will deliver presentations on The Center for Genes, Environment and Health, the Center for Respiratory Biodefense, and Pediatric Asthma and Immunology. The presentations will include talks on "Building a Better Vaccine," by immunologist Ross Kedl, PhD, and "Controlling Influenza," by pulmonologist Bob Mason, MD.

National Jewish opened its doors  in 1899 in response to the great numbers of destitute individuals suffering from tuberculosis (then known as consumption) who flocked to Denver for the climate's supposed beneficial effect on respiratory diseases. At the time, no institution in Denver would admit penniless consumptives, and many poor victims of the disease lived on the city's streets.

For more almost 70 years, National Jewish served all its patients free of charge. While it was forced to begin accepting payments in 1969, it still delivers substantial charity care each year to patients of all races and religions.

Since its origins as a tuberculosis hospital, National Jewish has expanded its services to include all respiratory diseases, severe allergies, immune, cardiac and related diseases. It also conducts extensive basic, translational and clinical research. For the past 12 years, US News World Report  has named National Jewish the best respiratory hospital in the nation.

More National Jewish Health history.

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