National Jewish Health Renames K-8 School for Chronically Ill Children in Honor of Morgridge Family
DENVER – May 14, 2013 – National Jewish Health has renamed its free kindergarten through eighth grade school for 90 chronically ill children to recognize the long-time support and commitment to education and health on campus by John and Carrie Morgridge and the Morgridge Family Foundation. The renaming also honors their recent $15 million donation to National Jewish Health. The Kunsberg School on the main National Jewish Health campus is now named the Morgridge Academy.
“Our gifts combine two causes we feel passionate about – education and National Jewish Health,” said Carrie Morgridge, Vice President of the Foundation.
The Morgridge Family Foundation, a leader in educational philanthropy throughout the nation, has for several years been a generous supporter of both National Jewish Health and the unique school that it operates. In recent years, the foundation has contributed Promethean white boards, a Reading First literacy program, Scholastic Book Fair gift certificates for every student, and funding for a pilot summer camp program in 2012.
The Foundation was a presenting sponsor of the National Jewish Health Beaux Arts Ball from 2010 to 2013. Carrie and John Morgridge also served as Grand Marshals of the Ball in 2011. The $15 million gift exceeds the previous largest gift to National Jewish Health, a $10 million gift from the fantasy author David Eddings in 2009.
“Carrie and John Morgridge and the Morgridge Family Foundation have stepped up time and again to support the patient care, research and educational missions of National Jewish Health,” said Michael Salem, MD, president and CEO of National Jewish Health. “With this tremendous gift, they are assuring that the tradition of excellence at National Jewish Health will continue for decades to come.”
The Morgridge Academy is the only school of its kind in the country, a free kindergarten through eighth grade school on the main National Jewish Health campus that serves about 90 chronically ill children whose medical problems have caused frequent absences from regular school. The majority of the children are from low-income and minority neighborhoods in Denver. Improved medical and social support at the school lead to better attendance and better academic performance, with many students successfully returning to their neighborhood schools within two to three years.
The school was originally dedicated in 1984 and named in honor of Stanley H. Kunsberg as a tribute to his two decades of service as a National Trustee from 1962 to his death in 1982. His contributions to National Jewish Health will continue to be recognized with a dedication in his honor in the school library.
National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation for 15 consecutive years.