COVID-19 in Colorado

Health Care Heroes

Throughout this pandemic, Coloradans can point to health care heroes. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the challenges of COVID-19. In the face of unprecedented challenges and unknowns, our heroes put patient care first.


Colorado Hospitals meet the challenge:

“The data collaboration is unique nationwide and the result of behind-the-scenes meetings among the chief medical officers of multiple health systems, including Banner Health, Boulder Community Health, Centura Health, Denver Health, HealthONE, UCHealth and SCLHealth.”

In just 3 months, it was clear that hospital collaboration made a difference: But a lot has changed in three months about the treatment protocol for COVID-19 — use of the antiviral drug remdesivr, injections of convalescent plasma from recovered patients, and even the simple act of placing hospital patients on their stomachs instead of their backs.

COVID-19 Wave 1 Colorado


Testing is just one example of hospital systems working with the Administration and health departments across the state. 

“That’s why we as Colorado are going to be taking matters into our own hands and expanding our state lab capacity and bringing additional in-state, private lab partners online,” Governor Jared Polis said at a news conference. He cited state partnerships with Children’s Hospital and National Jewish Health as well as private labs including Mako Medical, Curative Inc. and ATCG. “We’re going to lead by example in Colorado and be one of the states that get it right,” the Democratic governor said.


Colorado medical teams came together quickly to develop treatment plants that have led to significant improvement in mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. For example,

  • When it comes to treating the disease, Children’s Hospital Colorado has been collecting data to research the effects of convalescent plasma on COVID-19 patients. At one time, the hospital was the only center in Colorado collecting convalescent plasma.
  • Experts say a viable vaccine is our best way out of this pandemic. As members of the COVID Prevention Network, UCHealth and the University of Colorado School of Medicine are recruiting 1,000 patients to test the Moderna vaccine. The trial is for people who are most at-risk for contracting and becoming ill from the virus, including health care workers and people in higher-risk groups, such as Black, Indigenous and Hispanic patients and those with certain health conditions.


Despite the challenging events of 2020, Coloradans can take comfort in the fact that our hospitals are the very best.

While recognizing HealthOne as Best Large Healthcare System for HCA Continental Division/HealthOneon , Kyu Rhee, VP and chief health officer of IBM Watson Health, said, “Covid-19 has challenged the global community and has created massive disruption across the entire health system,” and the hospitals and health systems included on the list could serve as leaders as providers forge a path forward.

“[W]hile it’s safe to say that there’s no playbook for a pandemic of this magnitude, it’s clear that hospitals … have stepped up in innovative ways to support patients and communities. I believe we have much to learn from this group as we reinvent our health system.”

Recent awards for Colorado hospitals include:

  • Eight Centura Health hospitals received an A for patient safety (The Leapfrog Group).
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado ranked #6 among the top children’s hospitals (U.S. News & World Report).
  • Craig Hospital ranked #8 in rehabilitation (U.S. News & World Report).
  • HCA Healthcare Continental Divison, which includes HealthONE ranked #1 and UCHealth ranked #2 among the five top large health systems in the nation (Fortune/IBM Watson Health).
  • National Jewish Health, along with UCHealth, ranked #2 in pulmonology (U.S. News & World Report).
  • SCL Health Saint Joseph Hospital ranked high-performing in adult cancer (U.S. News & World Report).
  • UCHealth ranked nationally in nine adult specialties (U.S. News & World Report).