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CAHSS Alumnus Advances University of Denver-National Jewish Health Partnership

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Sarah Satterwhite

Senior Editor, Strategic Content and Storytelling

News  • Announcement  •
three people peering over covid 19 spit lab samples

The University of Denver is pleased to announce the further expansion of its collaboration with National Jewish Health (NJH) as a result of a gift from CAHSS alumnus Lewis J. Hoch Esq. (BA '74, JD '77). Hoch's gift to DU funds interdisciplinary collaborative research projects involving investigators from both DU and NJH – projects that will advance science and lead to better health.

The two institutions forged a collaboration at the beginning of the pandemic to develop a program for responding to COVID-19, and this gift advances the ways in which they work together. It provides up to 10 seed grants for faculty and students to conduct state-of-the-art high-impact research by gathering data for a year, and then developing preliminary findings and supporting data sets to be competitive in additional funding opportunities.

In making this gift, Hoch wishes to acknowledge the impactful mentorship that he received during his seven years at DU and NJH and five years in legal practice in Denver. For Hoch, the guidance flowing out of his relationship with faculty at DU and physicians at NJH was transformational in the same way that he hopes students participating in the various research projects funded by the grant will be changed. His time in Denver allowed Hoch not only to secure an undergraduate and legal education at DU, but also to obtain treatment for uncontrolled severe asthma at NJH. As a result of Hoch’s education at DU, his treatment at NJH and his time in Denver, generally, his chronic disease was brought under control, he learned to manage it, and he acquired the skills to live independently with personal and professional successes that have followed over the last 47 years.

Hoch’s gift to DU grew out of a visit to DU and NJH in the spring of 2021. The visit underscored the dynamic, disruptive and transformational changes that the two institutions had realized as a result of working together during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep DU students and faculty safe. 

“This gift secures a foundation for nucleating innovations built at National Jewish and DU, combining our synergistic strengths and enhancing student opportunities,” said Corinne Lengsfeld, senior vice provost for research and graduate education, who will oversee the program.

Hoch hopes that this gift will benefit DU, National Jewish Health, and the broader community, just as he benefited from caring and involved people at DU and NJH and across greater Denver a half century ago. He also hopes that 5-10 years from now, the collaboration between DU and NJH will have produced in Southeast Denver a sustainable and thriving national center for excellence in health.

To make a gift in support of collaborative research between the University of Denver and National Jewish Health, click here.