History of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

The Pediatric Gastroenterology Program at Colorado General Hospital was established by Frank Cozzetto, MD, in 1960. In 1965, he was joined by Arnold Silverman, MD, one of the nation’s first fellowship-trained Pediatric Gastroenterologists. Silverman divided his time between medical trainee instruction and outpatient care in Colorado General’s Gastroenterology and Cystic Fibrosis Clinics. In 1967, Department of Pediatrics Chair C. Henry Kempe, MD, suggested Silverman direct the Office of Graduate Education for resident training at The Children’s Hospital. He accepted, continuing to teach and see clinic patients at Children’s.

Kempe’s goal was to forge a strong Pediatric residency program connecting Children’s Hospital, Colorado General Hospital, and Denver General Hospital. The training triumvirate was achieved by the mid-1970s. Dr. Silverman was subsequently appointed Director of Pediatrics at Denver General Hospital where he continued as Section Head.

Among the many pediatric residents who trained under Silverman were Judith Sondheimer, MD, and Ronald Sokol, MD, both of whom returned to the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics having completed their Pediatric Gastroenterology fellowships. Over the course of five decades, the three—Silverman, Sondheimer and Sokol—would guide the Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Digestive Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado to its current position as one of the nation’s top sites for advanced GI and hepatology care, training, and research.

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