Children's Hospital Colorado

Year in Review: Our Top 9 Stories from 2014

Children's Hospital Colorado | December 29, 2014
Check out our highlights from 2014.
Check out our highlights from 2014.

The past year was, yet again, filled with exciting accomplishments and hopeful stories at Children’s Hospital Colorado. It was the kind of year that inspired patients and motivated staff to commit to the hospital’s mission.

As we look forward to the New Year, here are our 9 biggest stories from 2014.


1. Jackie Murray wins Magnet Nurse of the Year

Jackie Murray, Ph.D., a nurse at Children’s Colorado, won the prestigious Magnet Nurse of the Year in Exemplary Professional Practice for helping patients and families who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Just four nurses from around the country receive the award each year. Read more about Murray’s accomplishments.

2. Seacrest Studio Opens at Children’s Colorado

In June, Children’s Colorado welcomed our first-ever broadcast media center: a Seacrest Studio, donated by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. The purpose of the studio is for patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media. The studio is dedicated to inspiring youth through entertainment and educational focused initiatives.

In the five months it’s been open, the Seacrest Studio at Children’s Colorado has helped hundreds of kids, hosted celebrity visits, and conducted many contests, including a “Frozen” parody song contest that resulted in this Broncos Go! video.

3. Children’s Colorado helps tackle marijuana legislation

Children’s Colorado supported and strengthened marijuana-related legislation with the primary goal of keeping kids healthy and safe. We also created a new section on our website about marijuana, including its effects on the body, how to talk to kids, research and safety.

4. Elbert the Bear joins Children’s Colorado and the Denver Zoo

In July, Elbert, a friendly Colorado bear, became the official mascot of Children’s Colorado in partnership with the Denver Zoo. Elbert lives at the Denver Zoo and visits Children’s Colorado at least once a month. See Elbert in action!

5. Prescription Pets Program celebrates 30 Years

In 1984, Children’s Colorado launched the first pediatric prescription pet program in the country. The program has grown over the years and inspired several other programs like it across the country. Today, volunteers in the Prescription Pets program continue to delight children with visits from their dogs.

6. Courage Classic raises $2.9 million for kids

The 25th Children’s Hospital Colorado Courage Classic crossed the finish in Copper Mountain with a record-breaking $2.9 million raised. The tour lasted three days, included three mountain passes and was supported by nearly 400 volunteers.

7. Children’s Colorado researchers recognized for discoveries

On Nov. 6, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment presented its new Astute Clinician Award to Sam Dominguez, M.D., and Kevin Messacar, M.D., for their work in recognizing the association of flaccid paralysis and enterovirus 68. This award honors clinicians who recognize clinical events of public health significance.

In a separate study, physicians from the Colorado Center for Celiac Disease at Children’s Colorado, in collaboration with an international team of researchers, studied more than 6,400 children with specific genetic markers from birth to identify factors involved in the development of both celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. They found that certain gene combinations put people at risk for the disease and that signs of the condition can be detected at a very early age. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

8. Urgent Care opens at Briargate location in Colorado Springs

On Nov. 6, 2014, Children’s Colorado opened its Briargate After Hours Urgent Care location. Located in the same building as Outpatient Specialty Care at Briargate, the clinic is open Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and noon to midnight on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. In 2014, the hospital also announced plans to further expand in Southern Colorado.

9. Heart Institute performs 400th heart transplant

In September, a team of doctors led by Max Mitchell, M.D., from the Heart Institute, transplanted a heart in 7-month-old Juniper Gelrod. The surgery went so well that Juniper got to go home just eight days after the operation (the national median length of stay for this operation is 15 days). At two weeks old, Juniper was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Watch a video about Juniper’s journey.