June 5, 2012

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital Named Among Nation's Best by U.S. News & World Report

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is again named among the nation's leaders in pediatric health care in U.S. News & World Report magazine’s annual Best Children's Hospitals rankings released today.

Again this year, the hospital achieved national rankings for a maximum of 10 out of 10 pediatric specialty programs.

“I want to congratulate the dedicated faculty and staff of Children’s Hospital as we celebrate this achievement,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System. “Our sustained commitment to provide the very best care for the children of this region across a broad continuum of specialty and subspecialty services is in evidence in these rankings.”

The U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals rankings for 2012-2013 recognize top performers among the nation's 178 designated pediatric hospitals. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has been ranked every year by U.S. News since the inception of the publication’s pediatric rankings, now in their sixth year.

"We feel honored that, once again, a maximum of 10 of our pediatric specialties have achieved national ranking," said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children's Hospital. "Our physicians and staff work hard each day to offer top-notch, comprehensive expertise and care to families. These rankings are a testament to their tireless work, as well as a reflection of our valued partnerships with community pediatricians, who validate and support our efforts each day.”

Children's Hospital continues to be a national leader in Urology, which remains in the top 10, ranking 8th. The Division of Neonatology also moved into the top 10, improving from 11th to 9th in the country. A substantial improvement was also seen in Pulmonology, moving from 36th to 21st, and in Diabetes and Endocrinology, which climbed from 25th to 18th. Other specialties ranked this year include: Cancer (45), Cardiology and Heart Surgery (21), Gastroenterology (42), Nephrology (44), Neurology and Neurosurgery (41), and Orthopaedics (30).

"We are very pleased that Pediatric Urology was again recognized as one of the top programs in the country," said John W. Brock III, M.D., director of Pediatric Urology, surgeon-in-chief for Children's Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr. Chair. “This recognition illustrates that we, as faculty and staff, are on track with our mission, which is simply to be the very best in all that we do for the children and families we serve.”

“This is truly a special environment to care for children, I am proud to be part of a division, as well as an institution, with such extraordinary faculty and medical staff,” Brock said.

Expanding upon the same excellence in care, Children's Hospital recently opened a 33-bed, 30,000-square-foot expansion project. The $30 million expansion includes additional acute, neonatal intensive care and medical-surgical beds. An additional $20 million also is planned for programmatic enhancements that focus on the three childhood diseases most prevalent in Middle Tennessee — childhood cancer, childhood heart disease and prematurity.

"We are delighted to see our neonatology program is recognized as among the top 10 in the nation," said Judy Aschner, M.D., chief of Neonatology and the Julia Carell Stadler Professor of Pediatrics. "Our 98-bed, family-centered Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides the full range of medical and surgical services for the most complex newborn patients in the region. This recognition is a tribute to the caring and dedicated faculty and staff who provide excellent care to our special patients and their families every day.

"As part of Vanderbilt's community of excellence, we will continue our efforts to reduce prematurity and improve the long-term outcomes for all infants by providing the highest level of care possible, through collaborative quality improvement initiatives and through our contributions to research and education, improving the way neonatal care is delivered throughout the country," Aschner said.

U.S. News rankings are calculated using clinical outcomes, reputation and other care-related data, including survival rates, nurse staffing, and subspecialist availability, among other factors. The rankings also consider pediatric specialists' recommendations for hospitals where they would send the sickest pediatric patients.

This year's full rankings are available online at usnews.com/childrenshospitals, and they will also appear in the Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook in August, which is published by U.S. News.