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

  • National 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 Pulmonology category has been included in the rankings (since 1997).

    • 15 years in the #1 spot and three years in the #2 spot including the 2014-2015 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 26 physicians named as "Top Docs" in the 5280 magazine 2014 rankings 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.

Last Updated: 1/2015


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