Public Health Transformers: 100 Years Apart



Public Health Transformers: 100 Years Apart

Two immigrant men created communities around healthcare for underserved populations - one hundred years apart.

Dr. Charles Spivak was a Russian Jewish immigrant who created the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society in 1904 as a place where mostly Jewish patients from far and wide could receive free and culturally sensitive treatment. Dr. Spivak’s value of charitable giving shaped the JCRS, which included on-site farming, entertainment, vocational training, and more, funded primarily by small donations from around the country.

Top Left:  Dr. Charles Spivak, JCRS (Source: Beck Archives, University of Denver)
Bottom Left:  JCRS patients with a cow during festivities (Source: Beck Archives, University of Denver)

Dr. P.J. Parmar is a Punjabi immigrant who created the Mango House in 2012 as a hub of refugee healthcare and small businesses. Dr. Parmar takes a more entrepreneurial approach that supports a medical clinic and a small but thriving economic and cultural center.

Top Right:  Dr. P. J. Parmer, Mango House
Bottom Right:  Interior of Mango House (Photo: Regina Pierce)

While they differ in method, these two men and the institutions they built along the Colfax corridor show the impact one person’s leadership and innovation can make on their community.


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