DENVER (CBS4)– At the end of World War II, a group of Jewish community leaders in Denver wanted to create a hospital that was free of discrimination. That was the start of Rose Medical Center.
Seventy years later, Rose is celebrating the past and vowing to continue its commitment to inclusivity and doing the right thing.
Rose Medical Center is a Denver landmark. It has stood since 1949 on 9th Avenue, a constant in the community.
And for long-time board member Don Kortz, “It’s been a long family tradition.”
His uncle’s name is above the entrance. Jess Kortz was a founder. In 1945, he was one of the men working to give Jewish doctors in Denver a place of their own.
“They were practicing all over the city, but they didn’t get the same practice privileges other physicians had,” explained Kortz.
The hospital name would honor Denverite General Maurice Rose, a Jewish war hero killed in World War II.
“He was the type of warrior that would sit on the top of his tank with his troops and go into battle,” said Kortz.
General Rose’s mother was first to break ground on the hospital. Kortz was five years old when he saw President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was then a general, dedicate the cornerstone.
“The vision was to build a hospital that would be open to all,” said Kortz.
In 1949, Rose was the first hospital in Denver to credential a black doctor, Dr. Edmond Noel.
Over the years, the hospital expanded. It was sold to Health One in 1995.
Fast forward to 2019 and CEO Ryan Tobin’s mission.
“To treat the community and treat people with respect,” Tobin said.
Rose’s well known commitment to mothers and babies continues. New to Rose is staff training to better serve the LGBTQ community.
“We’re seeing more folks coming through and we want to respect them,” said Tobin.
And Rose is supporting “The Blue Bench,” a nonprofit for victims of sexual assault.
The more things changed over seven decades, the more critical Rose Medical Center’s core values have become.
“No boundaries, no barriers, everybody is welcome,” said Kortz.