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Accomplishments & Awards

Leading Respiratory Hospital in the Nation

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation and the only health care organization to be fully focused on respiratory related illnesses. National Jewish Health has been recognized for this expertise through a variety of outside measurements and tangible achievements, including those listed below.

Institutional Achievements

  • Best Hospitals - 2023-2024National Jewish Health has the largest pulmonary division in the nation and is the only hospital whose principal focus is pulmonary disease.

  • Ranked #1 or #2 in Pulmonology by U.S. News & World Report for 26 consecutive years.

  • The U.S. News & World Report  Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings evaluate procedures and conditions that account for millions of hospitalizations a year. This year, our COPD, Pneumonia and Lung Cancer Surgery programs were rated “high performing,” the highest rating available.

  • National Jewish Health has more than 50 doctors named on various physician ranking lists, including as “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly, and the Denver local 5280 magazine list of “Top Docs.”

  • In Press Ganey surveys, 95% of all patients would recommend National Jewish Health providers to a friend or relative. National Jewish Health providers received especially high ratings in communication, joint decision making and patients’ confidence in care providers.

  • National Jewish Health is in the top 6% of institutions in the country funded by the NIH, in terms of absolute dollars. This is a tremendous achievement for a specialty hospital/research center.

  • According to Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), patients rank National Jewish Health in the top 5% of all U.S. hospitals and 94% of patients would recommend National Jewish Health to a friend.

  • In the past year, National Jewish Health researchers have published over 500 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, many of them in the most influential publications such as Cell, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA and Nature.

  • Every year patients come to National Jewish Health from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, seeking care they could not receive anywhere else. 

  • Ranked among the leaders worldwide in the impact of our scientific publications, our faculty also have helped write national guidelines for the diagnosis and care of patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, idiopathic lung disease, atopic dermatitis and other diseases.


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 oral food challenge was designed and introduced in the 1970s by our physician scientists. This became, and remains, the accepted “gold standard” for diagnosing food allergies.

  • Food allergy research became evidence-based, thanks to our pioneering researchers
    at a time when the medical community was skeptical about the relevance of food 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 allergy to nickel used in artificial joints, a common cause of failure.


Accomplishments with our Clinical Partner Saint Joseph Hospital

  • Magnet accredited for nursing excellence and quality patient care, one of the highest national honors. One of 13 hospitals in Colorado with this recognition.

  • Received multiple Chest Pain - MI Registry™ awards in 2020 from the American College of Cardiology. Ranked with a grade “A” by the Leapfrog Group, a nationally recognized organization that provides a score card for hospitals based on quality and safety.

  • One of only four hospitals in Colorado to be sepsis certified by the Joint Commission.

  • Ranked as "High Performing" by U.S. New & World Report in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement.

  • Five-star rating for patient experience from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid.