Program is possible through collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia
DENVER—For the first time, Colorado students can complete their Bachelor of Science—Respiratory Therapy offered by Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson) in collaboration with National Jewish Health. This program will be made available for students at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) starting Fall 2024.
Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat patients with lung and heart disease as well as administer medication for those with respiratory issues. The COVID-19 pandemic created an acute shortage of these medical professionals, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an annual growth rate of 23% for these jobs. BLS data indicates graduates can anticipate a salary between $65,000 and $80,000.
CU Denver students will be able to complete their first two years of coursework at the downtown campus and then apply to Jefferson for admission through its Entry into Practice 2+2 BS Program. This partnership is another example of how CU Denver is meeting students’ educational needs where they are and looking to contribute to our workforce needs. CU Denver has several health professional pathway programs, including pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, and physical therapy.
As long as students meet certain requirements, they have reserved admission to Jefferson’s program. There are a few seats guaranteed to CU Denver students in the competitive program. Students will then be able to finish their work in Denver, including clinicals at the world-renowned National Jewish Health. The training program was developed through an existing relationship between Jefferson Health and National Jewish Health, who also partnered in 2017 to create the Jane and Leonard Korman Respiratory Institute. National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation.
“Respiratory therapists play a critical role in healthcare’s ability to work effectively in emergency rooms, intensive care units, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and even sleep centers,” said Trishia Vasquez, Director of Health Professions at CU Denver. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this opportunity to our CU Denver students through this partnership. Although we expect it to be a very competitive program, students won’t be the only beneficiaries. We will be doing our part to address the local and national shortage of these experts who care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
“We are excited to work with CU Denver to address this critical health workforce need,” said Michael Dryer, Dean, Jefferson College of Health Professions. “Respiratory Therapists were the top of the spear during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to play a critical role in the healthcare team.”
CU Denver’s academic excellence and collaborative nature was one reason the partnership, two years in the making, was possible.
About the University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver is the state’s premier public urban research university and equity-serving institution. Globally connected and locally invested, CU Denver partners with future-focused learners and communities to design accessible, relevant, transformative educational experiences for every stage of life and career. Across seven schools and colleges in the heart of downtown Denver, our leading faculty inspires and works alongside students to solve complex challenges through boundary-breaking innovation and impactful research, and creative work. As part of the state’s largest university system, CU Denver is a major contributor to the Colorado economy, with 2,000 employees and an annual economic impact of $800 million. For more information, visit ucdenver.edu.
Nationally ranked, Jefferson, which is principally located in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey, is reimagining healthcare and higher education to create unparalleled value. Jefferson is more than 42,000 people strong, dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients; making our communities healthier and stronger; preparing tomorrow’s professional leaders for 21st-century careers; and creating new knowledge through basic/programmatic, clinical, and applied research. Thomas Jefferson University, home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce, is a national doctoral research university that dates back to 1824 and today comprises 10 colleges and three schools offering 200 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 8,400 students. Jefferson Health, nationally ranked as one of the top healthcare systems in the country and the largest provider in the Philadelphia area, serves patients through millions of encounters each year at 17 hospitals and over 50 outpatient and urgent care locations throughout the region. Jefferson Health Plans is a not-for-profit managed health care organization providing a broad range of health coverage options in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 35 years.
National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 124 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune, and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care.