American Jewish Experience in Medicine Program

​Spotlighting the history and intellectual contributions of the American Jewish community in medicine and healthcare.​

Helen Morris and heliotherapy

About the Program:

When Helen Morris, MD, graduated from the CU School of Medicine in 1956, she was one of only five women in her class.  After a long and accomplished career in research and teaching, Dr. Morris is celebrated not only for boldly blazing the trail generations of women would follow into medicine, but also for her philanthropy, mentorship, and community service.

A Denver native and child of eastern European immigrants, one of Dr. Morris’ latest gifts is funding the new American Jewish Experience in Medicine Program at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.  Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH is excited to be hosting the new program. “Dr. Morris’ gift is incredibly creative and a perfect fit for us, because it exemplifies the intersection of humanities and bioethics by examining how history affects the culture of health care today.”

Join us on February 13th from Noon-1:30pm
featuring Robert Baker, PhD

This zoom presentation and panel discussion is in development but likely will address two issues; why some people, often called whistleblowers, can recognize as immoral the everyday practices deemed morally acceptable by their communities? Secondly, why are so many of the moral whistleblowers who made bioethics possible, ignored or minimally acknowledged in standard histories of bioethics? 

Read the feature story about about the AEJM Program in CU Anschutz News>>

Dr. Wynia believes the new American Jewish Experience in Medicine Program will expand awareness of the history of Jewish people in the health sciences, using this history to illuminate contemporary challenges and encourage mutual understanding in a multicultural society.  “At most medical campuses history is a neglected branch of the health humanities,” he says, “but our campus is relatively unique in our strong efforts to learn from history. Like Dr. Morris, we believe that learning history is critical for understanding the present and also for building a better future. We won’t be able to create the future we want if we don’t understand how we got to where we are today.”

View a recording our event on September 9, 2022
Jewish Bioethics:  What All Health Professionals Should Know was presented by Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.  A panel, moderated by Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, followed with discussants Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner, BCC, Director of Spiritual Care at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and Jeremy Lazarus, MD, Past President of the American Medical Association and member of the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. 

View a recording our event on April 25, 2022
Medical Racism and the American Jewish Experience, was presented by Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD.  Dr Lerner is a historian of medicine and bioethicist in the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine.  Discussants included; Gregg Drinkwater, PhD is a visiting Assistant professor at the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies.  Drinkwater’s research focuses on sexuality, gender, and Judaism in the modern United States.  Alan M. Kraut, PhD, Professor of History at American University and a fellow of the Migration Policy Institute.  Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH is the chief health equity officer and senior vice president for the American Medical Association where she focuses on embedding health equity across all the work of the AMA and leading its Center for Health Equity, and Shanta M. Zimmer, MD is the Senior Associate Dean for Education and the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

View a recording of the Inaugural Event on March 14, 2022
Legacies of the American Jewish Health Community: Colorado’s Leading Role in Treating Tuberculosis, presented by Jeanne Abrams, PhD, Professor, University of Denver Libraries and Center for Judaic Studies and Director of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society & Beck Archives.  Featuring respondents Charles L. Daley, MD, Chief, Division of Mycobacterial and Respiratory Infections, National Jewish Health and Tom Noel, PhD, Professor Emeritus of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies, University of Colorado Denver.

                                                                        Top right image:  Heliotherapy on porches, Jewish Consumptive Relief Society, circa 1930
                                                                                                    Beck Archives, University of Denver Libraries 

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is appreciated!

Link to Giving Page:

For information about donations contact Michael Tortoro at (303) 724-7618
in the CU Office of Advancement.​​​