The Pediatric Day Program is a unique, comprehensive program in which patients and their families participate in appointments, disease management and therapeutic activities throughout the day. It combines the intensity of an inpatient hospital stay with the cost savings of outpatient treatment. Patients and families have a "home base" on the second floor of the May Building where they check in each day and review their schedule.


Patient Care Team 

Patient Care TeamThe child's team consists of an attending physician, a nurse, and an allergy fellow or physician assistant.

Chronic illness often affects the emotional and social well being of children and their families. Because of this, a psychosocial clinician is part of the treatment team.

Other providers who may be consulted include speech therapists, rehabilitation therapists, dieticians, immunologists and pulmonologists. This program enables staff to observe and monitor the patient throughout the day, which in turn helps ensure accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment. The "home base" also enables families to meet other families who face similar challenges of managing illness.


Patient Education

The program emphasizes education and self-care. Parents attend educational classes that pertain to their child's diagnosis. Children learn about their treatment, including early warning signs, triggers to avoid, medications to take and practical techniques they can use when they return home. This approach provides children and their families an increased sense of independence, confidence and control over the illness.


Additional Services Available During Day Program Stay

Peds Day Program PlayroomThe Child Life Program is play-based and helps children, teens and family members cope with illness, treatment and the overall healthcare experience. A trained Child Life Specialist can provide health education regarding illness, preparation for medical procedures, distraction during painful procedures, developmentally appropriate play and recreation, creative arts and emotional support for patients and families. Child life services are available at no cost to the patient.

A pediatric playroom and playground are available to Day Program patients and siblings and are staffed by volunteers and child life practicum students. The Day Program also provides a teen room for adolescents.

As a part of our Behavioral Health Services included in the Day Program, art therapy groups are offered for patients ages 5 years and older. Group therapy at National Jewish Health offers patients the opportunity to meet and spend time with other kids who may be having similar experiences and feelings associated with living with a chronic illness and with being hospitalized. Children's artwork often reveals feelings about their illnesses such as fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness and anxiety. Group therapy is a forum where children and adolescents feel welcome to explore and discuss fears and anxieties. When feelings like these are expressed and identified, a sense of relief and control often follows.


Come Prepared

To best come prepared for your Day Program stay, please contact your insurance company prior to your arrival. You will have an appointment with financial counseling on your first day to review coverage.

It is helpful to come prepared with a list of questions and goals for your team. Please bring a list of your child’s symptoms, including when and how long they last, photos or videos of reactions and/or flares, your goals for the stay and any questions or concerns your child may have.

If your child is being evaluated and/or treated for atopic dermatitis (eczema) please bring wet wrap clothing for after bath cares, (long tube socks, long cotton pajamas, warm outer onesie layer or sweat pants/sweat shirts). A washer and dryer are available on the unit at no cost to the family.”



What happens on the day of admission?
What happens on other days?
What about other family members and visitors?
How long should I plan on staying?
Where should I stay?
What about meals?
What about patient billing?
How do I request medical records?


What happens on the day of admission?

Pediatric Day ProgramFamilies should arrive by 7:30 a.m. the day of admission and report to the Check-in desk on the first floor of the Center for Outpatient Health Building. If your child needs medical attention before the day of admission, call the Pediatric Triage area, 303-398-1239, where your child can receive immediate care. Please alert the nurse that your child is here for the Day Program. If your child is having significant breathing problems or other emergency conditions, call 911.

Complete the Pediatric Initial Evaluation Form in this packet and bring it with you to National Jewish Health. Also hand carry copies of available medical records, including clinic notes, lab results, x-rays and scans. 

Should your arrival time be delayed, please call 303.398.1239.

Attention: National Jewish Health treats many people with respiratory disorders whose symptoms can be triggered by certain scents, please DO NOT wear any of the following:

  • perfumes
  • colognes
  • aftershave
  • scented lotions
  • scented hairsprays


What happens on other days?

Pediatric Day ProgramDuring the program, the activities throughout the days may vary depending on what types of testing, monitoring, further treatments and medication adjustments that might be required. Some days may be very busy, other days may be slower while waiting to see how treatments are working for your child.

Speak with your team and staff members about activities to do and/or places to visit in Denver during available downtime and on the weekends.


What about other family members and visitors?

Although finding suitable childcare for siblings may be difficult, it is highly recommended, so that you can achieve the most benefit from this intensive program.  There is no childcare provided, and all children must be supervised at all times.


How long should I plan on staying?

Pediatric Day ProgramThe average length of stay is ten business days but can be longer or shorter depending upon the severity of your child's illness. The treatment team will meet with you to outline the goals of your child's stay and work on achieving treatment goals and developing a home treatment plan. The team will also maintain communication with your physicians at home.

If there are financial troubles with lodging during your stay please contact your Patient Admissions Coordinator immediately to see if a stay at the Ronald McDonald House is a possibility. The Ronald McDonald House runs on a first come first serve basis.


Where should I stay?

Day Program patients and a parent/guardian need to stay overnight in the hospital the first night. This is for observation purposes. Patient's siblings are not allowed to sleep overnight at the facility. 

Most families enrolled in the Day Program stay in hotels in the area.


What about meals?

Continental breakfast and lunch are provided for patients Monday through Friday. Parents can purchase meals in our cafeteria to eat with their children on the unit. Parents can also purchase food at a local grocery store and store it in a refrigerator, which is available on the unit. Microwave ovens are also available on the unit or in the cafeteria. Coin-operated vending machines are located throughout the hospital.


What about patient billing?

You may receive and examine an explanation of your bill prior to discharge. You may inquire about the availability of financial aid to assist in the payment of your hospital bill prior to receiving services. You can expect prompt and accurate information and assistance from hospital staff. Please contact our Patient Financial Office at 303.398.1065.

Learn more about billing and payment information.


How do I request medical records?

  1. Print the Release of Information form and fill it out.
  2. Photocopy the completed form for your records.
  3. Mail or hand-deliver the Release of Information form to your child's physician and/or hospital where services have been provided in the past.

Please DO NOT mail the completed form to National Jewish Health.



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Reasons to Choose National Jewish Health

  • The leading respiratory hospital in the nation and the only one devoted fully to the treatment of respiratory and related illnesses

  • Ranked #1 or #2 in Pulmonology by U.S. News & World Report for 25 consecutive years

  • Ranked in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation by HCAHPS

  • Physicians consistently recognized among the best in the nation by multiple services, including Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly

  • Among the top 6% of organizations funded for research by the NIH, providing patients access to hundreds of active clinical trials

  • 123-year history of focus on care, research and education serving patients from around the world with lung, heart, immune and related disorders

Resolute doctors help child thrive despite ongoing medical conditions

Asher is friendly, outgoing, curious, smart and full of energy — everything a 2-year-old should be. His joyful smile is contagious as he gives a fist bump to every nurse and doctor that comes by his hospital room. These doctors and nurses are part of his medical team from National Jewish Health and our colleagues at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC). They are committed to ensuring this bright little boy grows up to be strong and healthy.

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