Lutheran Medical Center began in 1905 as the Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium - a tent colony for tuberculosis patients. By 1961 the sanitarium evolved into an acute-care, community hospital. Today, Lutheran is owned by SCL Health, a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization that operates eight hospitals, more than 190 ambulatory service centers, home healthcare and safety net services in three states - Colorado, Kansas and Montana.
At the start of the 20th Century, Denver's population was booming, with residents spreading out across the plains to develop agriculture, mining, manufacturing and more. As settlement grew, however, so did the need for medical care. In 1905, congregants from St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver rallied to the cause of opening a tuberculosis sanitarium to care for the city's residents and visitors. They raised just over $15,000 to purchase 20 acres of land in Wheat Ridge, a few miles west of Denver. The property had two structures: a two-story farm house and a five-room cottage. Patients arrived almost immediately to benefit from compassionate care and the dry, cool air of Colorado's high plains at the new Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium.
Over the last 110 years, the Sanitarium has evolved into Lutheran Medical Center. While the hospital still occupies its original 20-acre parcel, and the farm house still stands, today's campus and its affiliated care sites include an acute care hospital, an accredited hospice and palliative program, behavioral health and addiction services and long term care. Each year, Lutheran's staff and physicians deliver 3,000 babies, provide inpatient care for 17,000 individuals and emergency services to 70,000 neighbors, and treat 170,000 people with high-quality outpatient service. Lutheran has been named seven times to Solucient's national Top 100 Hospitals. In 2007, Lutheran Medical Center Foundation incorporated as a 501(c)3 and assumed full responsibility for all fundraising for Lutheran. Today, Lutheran Medical Center Foundation raises more than $1 million annually to support care and services at Lutheran Medical Center and is well positioned to assist individuals and corporations with charitable giving to benefit our community.