National Jewish Health (previously National Jewish Medical and Research Center) is a research institute located in Denver, Colorado specializing in respiratory, immune and allergic research and treatment. It was founded in 1899 to treat tuberculosis, and is today considered one of the world's best medical research and treatment centers. It is a non-sectarian institution but received funding from B'nai B'rith until the 1950s. Today, clinical functions at National Jewish are limited to research, diagnosis, and ambulatory outpatient care. By the late 19th century, Colorado and the American Southwest had become famous for the health benefits of a dry, sunny climate. At that time, the only known treatment for tuberculosis (TB) was clean air and sunshine and hundreds of people with tuberculosis descended upon Denver in hopes of finding a miracle cure for what was then the nation’s leading cause of death. Consequently, many TB sufferers spent their last dollars coming to Colorado. By the 1890s, it was estimated that one out of every three residents of the state was there for respiratory reasons. However, no facilities existed to provide treatment or shelter to these victims.
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