Cutting-Edge Cardiovascular Research and Essential Arthritis Equipment Expanded in Colorado Thanks to Nearly $1.3M from Rose Community Foundation Donors

DENVER – Rose Community Foundation today awarded nearly $1.3 million in grants to advance cardiology research and purchase needed equipment for arthritis research and treatment in the Greater Denver area. The one-time grantmaking is an initiative called “Heart and Soul,” which distributed dollars from restricted funds that were established at the Foundation with specific donor intent.

“Rose Community Foundation stewards philanthropic resources for donors in the Greater Denver area and often helps to identify nonprofit organizations in the community that align with their values, priorities and interests,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Rose Community Foundation’s president & CEO. “In this instance, we had designated funds restricted to the specific areas of cardiovascular research and arthritis equipment, and we were committed to finding meaningful and impactful ways to deploy these charitable dollars into the community.”

Five designated funds at the Foundation were pooled together for the Heart and Soul initiative because of their shared intention to expand medical research and equipment in the Greater Denver area. The Foundation fulfilled the original intentions that the donors used in establishing the funds and aligned them with cutting-edge research and care being offered in the community.

“We are excited to support and highlight the incredible work taking place in our own backyard around cardiovascular disease and arthritis,” continued Lent. “These grants span the entire age continuum – supporting work that will benefit children through older adults – while also spanning the continuum of therapeutic and clinical care to trailblazing laboratory research. Our hope is that these funds will make a significant impact in the lives of Coloradans living with cardiovascular disease or arthritis – and provide transformational support to the local doctors, scientists, researchers and institutions working to improve the health of people with these conditions.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation received a $410,000 grant which includes the following: $360,000 to fund a two-year study to identify compounds that improve heart function in children with heart failure and test whether physical exercise improves heart function in children with heart failure, and an additional $50,000 to purchase software for an ultrasound machine that improves treatment for pediatric rheumatoid diseases by allowing for clearer imaging and more targeted joint treatment in children, and laboratory equipment to further accelerate care and research for a cure.

“When incredible partners like the Rose Community Foundation fund research at Children’s Hospital Colorado, new treatments are identified, lives are saved, and children across Colorado, the United States, and even around the world benefit from these advances,” said Jennifer Roe Darling, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation President and CEO. “We are grateful for this generous gift to further Dr. Shelley Miyamoto’s research on pediatric heart failure and her team’s quest to improve outcomes for our cardiac patients. It will also support equipment for Dr. Robert Fuhlbrigge’s rheumatology research lab, which is critical to our pediatric arthritis program, the only one in the Rocky Mountain region.”

The University of Colorado Center for Women’s Health Research was granted $300,000 to support the following: $200,000 for a study exploring the effects of insufficient sleep on cardiovascular fitness and insulin action, and an additional $100,000 to fund two seed grants for interdisciplinary research teams that allow for early-career researchers to gather the necessary preliminary data to obtain national funding and launch a large research project in the field.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined,” said Judy Regensteiner, PhD, Director and Senior Researcher for the Center for Women’s Health Research. “This generous grant from Rose Community Foundation will significantly advance the work of our world-class researchers to learn more about how women and men are affected differently by cardiovascular disease, informing innovative ways to address this deadly disease.”

A $68,000 grant to Denver Health Foundation will enable the hospital to purchase necessary rehabilitation exercise devices for the physical therapy clinic and establish a restricted fund earmarked for arthritis patients to provide assistance with the costs of items that aid in physical rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

“These items would be life changing for those without the resources to reliably access these items on their own,” said Peter Metropulos, Director of Denver Health Rehabilitation Services for Denver Health. “An investment in equipment to support arthritis rehabilitation will be a true advantage to patients and the providers who serve them.”

Kavod Senior Life was granted $68,000 to purchase exercise equipment to benefit the nearly 70 percent of their residents with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Kavod provides affordable and subsidized older adult living and assisted living apartment homes and services for adults 62 and older and those with qualifying mobility impairment disabilities. The grant will also enable Kavod to replace the doorknobs on campus apartments with door levers to ease the pain of knob-turning for residents with arthritic joints.

“Thanks to the Rose Community Foundation, Kavod Senior Life will now have the necessary tools to accommodate older adults on our campus suffering with arthritis. We are so grateful for RCF for investing in our community and helping our residents live their best life possible,” said Mandie Birchem, Director of Health and Wellness, Kavod Senior Life.

National Jewish Health was granted $260,000 for the following: $200,000 to support a study on the role of a specific metabolic intervention in the treatment and reversal of heart failure with abnormal heart relaxation, and an additional $60,000 for a musculoskeletal ultrasound machine, which can pick up extremely subtle swelling around joints that might otherwise be missed when evaluating patients with arthritis, leading to earlier diagnoses and better patient care, as well as for lab equipment used to inform precision medicine for arthritis to determine the best drug for individual patients.

“We have had a long relationship with Rose Community Foundation and appreciate the extraordinary work they do in the community, including supporting medical research,” said Michael Salem, M.D., president and CEO of National Jewish Health. “Their investment in the grants just announced supports our research efforts in the treatment and reversal of heart failure and also in the diagnosis of illnesses related to rheumatologic disorders. These are substantial areas of focus for National Jewish Health and will make a difference in the lives of patients.”

University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus was granted $185,000 to support the following: $110,000 for a new robotic workstation that expands the capacity of the arthritis research at the facility, and $75,000 for a bioinformatic and laboratory expert to identify unique heart failure signatures on over 1,300 heart tissues so that more precise treatments can be offered to patients for better outcomes.

“These philanthropic gifts from the Rose Community Foundation’s “Heart & Soul” initiative will accelerate vital work at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and we are proud to partner with such a visionary and committed leader in our community to transform health care,” said John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, CU School of Medicine Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. “This generous support will speed innovative research in cardiology and fund essential equipment for arthritis research and treatment, ultimately helping our talented physician-researchers improve care and quality of life for countless patients.”


Rose Community Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life of the Greater Denver community through leadership, grantmaking and donor engagement – stewarding philanthropic resources and investing in strategic and innovative solutions to enduring challenges and emerging issues. Since its founding in 1995, the Foundation has granted more than $285 million to organizations and initiatives focused on Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health and Jewish Life in the seven-county Greater Denver area – recently adding a cross-programmatic community action overlay of support for nonprofit organizations serving immigrants, refugees and communities vulnerable to discrimination and hate crimes. For more information, visit

The University of Colorado Center for Women’s Health Research works to improve lives around the world by: researching women’s health and sex differences; focusing on health and disease across the lifespan in the areas of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the intersection of mental and physical health with those diseases; providing women, their families and healthcare providers with the information they need to make the best-informed health decisions ; and developing excellent scientists for the field of women’s health and sex differences research. Established in 2004, the Center is part of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region. The campus includes the University of Colorado health professional schools, additional centers and institutes and two nationally ranked teaching hospitals that treat 1.9 million patients each year.

Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Founded in 1978, the Foundation supports Children’s Colorado by inspiring and facilitating philanthropic investment and engages and informs the community about the impact that philanthropy has on the health and well-being of children. Every donation to Children’s Colorado provides innovative, family-centered care and fuels research that will lead to new treatments and cures for children. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Since its establishment more than 150 years ago, Denver Health has evolved into a comprehensive health system regarded nationally as a successful model. One in three of our city’s residents depend on Denver Health’s integrated healthcare system for critical resources like its acute care hospital featuring an academic Level 1 trauma center, school-based and community clinics, the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center, the Center for Medical Response to Terrorism and more. The Denver Health Foundation raises private funds to support patient care, medical research, facilities development, academic program enrichment, equipment purchases, and professional education.”

Kavod Senior Life is a nonprofit organization in Denver serving older adults with affordable housing, robust support services and engaging life enrichment programs. Visit

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients 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.

University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of life-changing science, medicine, and healthcare. CU Anschutz serves over 4,500 students and offers more than 40 degree programs through six schools and colleges. We are the single largest health professions education provider in Colorado, awarding over 1,400 degrees annually and home to Children’s Hospital Colorado and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. Powered by our award-winning faculty, renowned researchers and a reputation for academic excellence, and with over $500 million in research awards in 2018, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus drives innovation from the classroom to the laboratory to the delivery of unparalleled patient care.