In 1907, Fannie Lorber founded the Denver Sheltering Home to care for the children of Jewish tuberculosis patients at National Jewish Medical and Research Center and Jewish Consumptive Relief Society. Once the Home, as it was called, had been established, Lorber served as its president, ensuring its growth and evolution as it continued to serve children with respiratory issues.
In the late 1800s, Denver was a popular destination for individuals suffering from tuberculosis because of the climate’s supposed beneficial effect on respiratory diseases. Many hospitalized patients were unable to care for their children, and many of these children became “TB orphans” who were left to fend for themselves. To help these children, Lorber spearheaded efforts to raise money to open and perpetuate the Denver Sheltering Home. In 1920, the organization became a national one, operating fundraising offices in New York as well as Denver. Lorber recruited a team of women to assist in her efforts and grew the organization to more than 100 auxiliaries nationwide.
As advances in tuberculosis treatment made it possible for more patients to be cared for in their own communities, fewer children of TB patients needed care in the Denver Sheltering Home. The Home evolved to become a nonsectarian center that battled childhood asthma under the name The Jewish National Home for Asthmatic Children. The name was later changed to the Children’s Asthma Research Institute and Hospital and finally to The National Asthma Center. The Home, which achieved an international reputation for its innovative and successful treatment of asthma, eventually merged with National Jewish Hospital and Research Center to become National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
Lorber was wholly dedicated to the children in the Denver Sheltering Home from its inception in 1907 and served as its president until her death in 1958. She was wholly dedicated to the children in the Denver Sheltering Home from its inception in 1907 and served as its president until her death in 1958.