Monfort Family Honored for Transformational Gift

OCTOBER 16, 2009

DENVER — National Jewish Health today honored the Monfort Family Foundation for its extraordinary contribution to the institution, which helped launch the largest study ever done of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. National Jewish Health Chairman of the Board Tom Gart presented the National Jewish Health President's Award to Monfort family members Richard and Charles Monfort, Kaye Ward, Myra Monfort Runyan and Kyle Futo.


"We are here to honor the members of this generous family," said Gart. "One that rose from humble roots yet stayed grounded, one who used its imagination to achieve success and who now seeds medical innovation, and one whose philanthropy to National Jewish and others is truly major league."

The award was a sculpture, "Romeo and Juliet," created by Dr. Joel Mosko, a respected Colorado physician, humanitarian, and artist.

In 2004, the Monfort Family Foundation established the Kenneth W. Monfort Comprehensive Program for Research into COPD with a $2.25 million gift to National Jewish Health. The gift funded a dozen researchers, led by National Jewish  Professor of Medicine James Crapo, MD. Based on preliminary findings from the Monfort-funded work, Dr. Crapo was able to garner a $37-million grant from the National Institutes of Health for the largest, most comprehensive study ever done on COPD, involving 12,000 patients followed for five years at 21 different medical centers.

"The size, scope and duration of this study is unprecedented for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," said Dr. Crapo. "We were able to leverage the $2.25 million Monfort gift into a $39.25-million research effort. One family's generosity will change the face of this disease. It was a truly transformational gift."

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