Hendrika Bestebreurtje Cantwell, MD

Best known for her work with neglected and abused children, Dr. Hendrika Cantwell was a remarkable student who received a B.A. from Barnard College at 19. Before moving to Denver in 1952, she attended the University of Rochester Medical School and completed her pediatric internship at Buffalo Children’s Hospital in New York. She began her work with abused and neglected children in 1975 when she became the first doctor to work with the Denver Department of Social Services, while retaining her positions at Denver Health and Hospitals and as clinical professor at the Colorado Medical School. Dr. Cantwell helped establish a child care facility for abused children and, in 1975, started the first court-ordered parenting classes to help abusive and neglectful parents. After retiring in 1984, Social Services asked her to consult, advise, and teach in all Colorado counties. She is a recognized speaker on parenting.

In Her Words