Children's Hospital Colorado | 100 Great Hospitals in America 2015

Children's Hospital Colorado (Aurora). The first children's hospitals in Colorado were summer tent hospitals for babies. At the time, the Denver mountain air was extolled as a cure for many diseases, so it made sense to treat children in canvas hospitals. Up to 50 children could be treated in the tents at one time. They were used from 1897 until 1908, when Denver residents decided they wanted a more permanent facility. Children's Hospital of Colorado admitted its first patient in 1910.

The 30-bed hospital grew and expanded multiple times, until it was rebuilt in 2007 at its current 1.79 million-square-foot location, which houses 440 beds and includes a staff of more than 2,000 pediatric specialties and 5,000 full-time employees. The new hospital was built using evidence-based design to optimize the space for healing. It features private rooms with pull-out beds for two family members to stay overnight, playrooms on every floor, a creative play center for siblings, a teen lounge and a family health library, among many other amenities. The new location is also closer to its affiliate, the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Children's Hospital Colorado is a Magnet-recognized facility and the first freestanding pediatric facility in the U.S. to fully integrate its EHR. It is nationally ranked in nine out of 10 pediatric specialties for 2014-15 by U.S. News & World Report, most notably garnering a No. 4 ranking in diabetes and endocrinology, a No. 4 ranking in neonatology and a No. 5 ranking in pulmonology. The hospital has also taken care to make it a welcoming place for kids, launching a Prescription Pets Program, now a model for pet-assisted therapy, and an amputee ski school for children with disabilities.

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