Accomplishments & Awards

Leading Respiratory Hospital in the Nation

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation and has been recognized as such through a variety of outside measurements and tangible achievements, including those listed below.

Institutional Achievements

  • For 114 years, the leading respiratory hospital in the nationNational Jewish Health has the largest pulmonary division in the nation, and is the only hospital whose principal focus is pulmonary disease.

  • In a 2013 Healthgrades survey, patients gave National Jewish Health the highest possible scores in overall rating, doctor and nurse communication, receiving necessary help and willingness to refer to family and friends.

  • The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ranks National Jewish Health in the top 1 percent of hospitals in the nation.

  • National Jewish Health has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #1 or #2 every year that the Pulmonary area has been included in the rankings (since 1997).

    • 15 years in the #1 spot and two years in the #2 spot including the 2014 ranking

  • 24 National Jewish Health doctors were recently named “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly

    • 5 in Pediatric Allergy & Immunology (most in nation)

    • 11 in Pulmonary Disease (tied for most in nation)

  • National Jewish Health had 22 physicians named "Top Docs" in the 5280 magazine 2012 ranking of Denver-area physicians.

  • Forty National Jewish Health physicians were named “Denver 2014 Best Doctors,” part of The Best Doctors in America® 2014 national database. These doctors were recognized in pulmonary medicine, allergy and immunology, and other related specialties including pediatric allergy and immunology.

  • National Jewish Health is in the top 7 percent of institutions in the country funded by the NIH, in terms of absolute dollars. For a specialty hospital/research center, this is a tremendous achievement.

  • Ranked among the leaders worldwide in the impact of our scientific publications: 12th in molecular biology & genetics; 15th in biology and biochemistry; and 22nd in immunology, as ranked by Thomson Scientific

  • Our faculty helped write the NHLBI 2007 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma

  • Home to the Editors-in-Chief of two major peer-reviewed publications:

    • Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology: Donald Leung, MD

    • Journal of COPD: James Crapo, MD


Research Achievements

National Jewish Health is responsible for many important scientific advances, including:

  • IgE, the molecule responsible for allergic reactions. This discovery has become the basis for many new treatments for asthma and allergies.

  • The T-cell receptor gene, which plays a crucial role in recognizing foreign invaders and orchestrating an immune response. It opened the door to understanding how bodies fight viruses, bacteria and cancer.

  • Superantigens, extremely powerful bacterial toxins associated with particularly virulent diseases, such as toxic shock syndrome and Legionnaire’s disease.

  • Combined chemotherapy for tuberculosis. National Jewish Health physicians were among the leaders in developing this crucial tool for fighting tuberculosis.

  • Culture medium for tuberculosis. A low-cost medium to grow tuberculosis organisms, which could make evaluation of drug-resistance possible in many of the hardest hit nations.

  • Proteins that slow the growth of cancer tumors by preventing the growth of blood vessels necessary for their growth and survival. The discovery could lead to new therapies for cancer.

  • Mechanisms of apoptosis. Pioneering efforts have helped doctors understand how the body effectively removes and recycles up to two billion cells a day and resolves inflammation in the lung.

  • Immune response trigger. Research at National Jewish Health revealed exactly what triggers the adaptive immune response: fragments of proteins from invading organisms bound to and presented by MHC molecules.

  • The immunological synapse, a complex and long-lived connection between immune-system cells that greatly influences the immune response.

  • New family of anti-viral agents. A naturally occurring lipid fights viral infections in the lungs and the inflammation associated with them.

  • Methamphetamine hazards. Groundbreaking research identified hazardous chemical exposures associated with clandestine methamphetamine laboratories.

  • Breast cancer inhibitor. A protein known as cdk6 is low in breast cancer cells, and is being investigated as a potential tool for diagnosing breast cancer and as a therapy to fight it.

  • Genetic roots of pulmonary fibrosis. A team led by researchers at National Jewish Health discovered genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis by 7 to 22 times, offering insight into the origins and possible treatments for this devastating disease.

  • Food allergy cure. In several trials, patients have been desensitized to allergenic foods through repeated exposure to small amounts of the food or its proteins. Still in clinical trials.

  • Allergies to artificial joints. Researchers have developed a blood test that can detect nickel allergy to metals or bone cement used with artificial joints, a common cause of failure.

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