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Anna and John Sie were inspired by the birth of their granddaughter, who has Down syndrome, to found the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Colorado Children’s Hospital. The Sie Center was founded with the insight and cooperation of the leaders of Children's Hospital Colorado and the Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation. The family’s mission is to improve the outcome of all individuals with Down syndrome.
With the prenatal diagnosis, the family had time to learn about Down syndrome and develop a plan to understand the condition. In 2006, the Sie family organized a scientific summit on Down syndrome with many nationally respected scientists in the field of Down syndrome. Conclusions from the meeting included Down syndrome the least funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health; and also there was a possibility of a scientific breakthrough for people with Down syndrome if new appropriate funding was available.
In 2008, the Sie family’s foundation, the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation became the founding donor of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The Linda Crnic Institute is the first institute to concentrate on basic, clinical, and developmental research, with the goal of maximizing state-of-the-art medical and developmental care for people with Down syndrome. An integral part of the Linda Crnic Institute is the Sie Center for Down Syndrome clinical program at Children's Colorado, which was Anna Sie's dream.
The Linda Crnic Institute is named after Dr. Linda Crnic, a basic science researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who was studying Down Syndrome. Dr. Crnic mentored the Sie Center, as well as their daughter and her husband, Michelle and Tom Whitten, to identify opportunities for Down syndrome research and support needs. The institute is named for Dr. Linda Crnic, who later passed away from tragic biking accident.
The Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome clinical program was founded in direct response to Anna Sie’s desire to provide the best medical and developmental care as well as to create programs for children with Down Syndrome. The Sie Center for Down Syndrome is a center of excellence with Down Syndrome experts and subspecialists at Children's Colorado providing comprehensive medical and developmental specialty care as well as conducting clinical research.