Children's Hospital Colorado

Faces Behind The Accomplishments

Black and white photo of four women gathered around a photo of a woman on a wall.
Oca Cushman, RN, Children's Hospital Colorado's superintendent for its first 45 years, at her retirement in 1955.

Throughout our history, it has been the people who dedicated themselves to improving the lives of children who made and make Children's Hospital Colorado what it is today.

From philanthropists like Harry and Agnes Reid Tammen; to thousands of nurses like Oca Cushman, RN, the hospital's superintendent for its first 45 years; and to Franklin Gengenbach, MD, the first doctor in Colorado to exclusively practice pediatric medicine; our history is our people.

The community at-large deserves a huge share of the credit for our continued success. Beginning with "penny marches" at Denver elementary schools to support early fund drives, and culminating in the campaign for our new state-of-the-art hospital, our progress has been made possible by the collective generosity of the communities we are privileged to serve.

Using the strength of our community support, we look forward to another 100 years of continuing the high standards our history has established for us at Children's Hospital Colorado.

The Tammen Trust

The Agnes Reid Tammen Wing, 1940s.

In the early 1920s, Denver philanthropist Agnes Reid Tammen received a $100,000 check from her husband, Denver Post publisher Harry H. Tammen, to buy a new string of pearls for Christmas.

Children's Hospital Colorado was engaged in a $50,000 fundraising drive for a new wing, and Mrs. Tammen had been asked to donate $1,000. According to one source, she told her husband that it would be sinful to spend twice as much for personal pleasure than the entire wing would cost and asked if she could donate $50,000 for the proposed addition.

"You never cease to amaze me," Harry Tammen is said to have replied. "We will give the entire $100,000."

When Harry Tammen died in 1924, he bequeathed half of his estate – $2 million – to the hospital. Mrs. Tammen continued her philanthropic efforts on behalf of Children’s Colorado until her death in 1942.

The Tammen Trust continues to provide annual income that helps provide essential healthcare for children whose families cannot afford to pay.