Skip to content

Celebrating 125 Years of Care and Discovery

Make an Appointment

Our 125th Anniversary

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of National Jewish Health right here in Denver. To help introduce you to our rich history, we created the following short slideshow and historic timeline to view, as well as a monthly calendar for you to download. As we honor this milestone throughout 2024, we invite you to participate by attending an event, reading our publications and interacting with our social media channels.

Image of the B'nai Brith building when it opened


The first hospital building was built in 1899 and was named the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives.

Image of the Center for Outpatient Health Building


The hospital campus today includes the new Center for Outpatient Health that opened in 2021.

National Jewish Health Badge and logo


The Leading Respiratory Hospital in the Nation

In the late 1800s, community leader Frances Wisebart Jacobs saw the need for a free hospital to help those who were suffering from an incurable lung disease, which was at the time called consumption and later identified as tuberculosis.  She rallied the community to join with her to build such a hospital.

In 1899, that work came to fruition. National Jewish Health opened its doors to face a devastating infectious lung disease with no known cure. At the time, it was thought that the clean air and sunshine in Colorado could cure this disease, so thousands journeyed to Colorado in hope. The streets of Denver quickly filled with homeless and penniless tuberculosis victims who needed medical care that they couldn't afford. Our hospital opened to meet these needs.

A dedication celebration on Dec. 10, 1899, marked the formal opening of the hospital. In the beginning, the hospital was called the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives. During that dedication ceremony, our first hospital President Samuel Grabfelder said, "Nowhere else is there an institution for the treatment of consumption for those who are too poor to pay for service." 

Over the years, the hospital’s name has changed, but our mission and focus on care, research and education has remained. Building on those beginnings in tuberculosis care and research, today, National Jewish Health is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families still come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive and coordinated care.

Please join us in our celebration. We've created an online historical timeline to highlight key milestones and an historical calendar to showcase photos from our rich past.

If you'd like to read more about our history, we have a condensed version of our history book on our website..