From the state’s first doctor to the ailments of early settlers to the gleaming towers at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Tom “Dr. Colorado” Noel covers the colorful history of health care in Colorado in his new book, “University of Colorado Hospital: A History.” In the book, Noel, a professor at CU Denver, goes beyond UCH’s history, chronicling health care from the days of the Ute Indians and their kivas to the landmark decision to move the CU Health Sciences Center in Denver to the current Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
He discusses how Denver became of health care hub in the early 1900s, thanks to the healing properties of its dry air for people suffering from tuberculosis, asthma and other respiratory ailments.
“This is an unwritten part of Colorado history because I don’t think people wanted to talk about it,” Noel said recently during a speaking event and book signing. “The chamber of commerce people didn’t want to talk about a town filled with people coughing, running around spitting up blood and what not.”
Noel has direct ties to UCH and the CU School of Medicine. His mother graduated from the medical school in 1938 (only one other woman was in her class) and his aunt became director of the hospital’s social services department.
He is director of Public History and Preservation at CU Denver and co-director of the Center for Colorado and the West at Auraria Library. For a copy of his book, contact Noel at email@example.com or drcolorado.auraria.edu.