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Children's Hospital ranked among nation's elite care providers

BY: LESLIE HAST

6/10/2010 - The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is again ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The magazine’s annual rankings for America’s Best Children’s Hospitals placed Vanderbilt among the top 30 in the United States in five pediatric specialty categories.

Pediatric Urology maintained its No. 6 ranking while two other programs, Neonatology and Pediatric Gastroenterology, made significant gains. Neonatology improved from 13th to 11th, while Pediatric Gastroenterology moved from 21st to 18th.

“I am delighted by these results,” said Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., James C. Overall Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “Once again in its very brief history, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has demonstrated extraordinary quality and excellence in a variety of programs as shown in these recent rankings.”

The hospital’s programs in Pediatric Orthopaedics and Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (categorized as Heart & Heart Surgery) each ranked 26th in their respective categories.

“To again be listed among the top children’s hospitals in the country is a testament to the dedicated physicians, nurses and staff who work here every day,” said Kevin Churchwell, M.D., chief executive officer and executive director of Children’s Hospital. “Our care team consistently puts children and families first and constantly looks for ways to improve. I am so proud that our great work has been recognized on a national level.”

Recently it was announced that Children’s Hospital would move forward on a 30,000-square-foot, $30 million facility expansion, and another $20 million has been committed toward programmatic improvements in cancer, heart disease and neonatology. Plans are already under way to bolster programs in childhood cancer and heart disease while further enhancing an already strong program in neonatology.

“We are doing well serving the needs of the region’s children, but plans are already in place for improvement,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Our expansion plans are designed to maximize new hospital space, and to make strategic programmatic enhancements in three specific areas of childhood disease — prematurity, cancer and heart disease. This is Vanderbilt’s investment in the most significant and prevalent health concerns of Tennessee’s children. We are optimistic this expansion will help us improve in these areas while we enhance our ability to provide the most innovative, compassionate and personalized care for children in our region.”

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings are based on methodology that includes reputation, clinical outcome data and other care-related measures such as nursing care, surgical volume, credentialing and other factors. Hospitals are ranked in part on reputational scores that are arrived at via survey responses from pediatric specialists across the nation regarding those hospitals they recommend for the sickest children.

“We are gratified to once again be included in the U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. Our inclusion in these rankings speaks to the hard work, commitment and dedication shown every day by the talented faculty and staff at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital,” said C. Wright Pinson, M.D., MBA, deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs.

The list was released June 3 at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals and will be featured in the August issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands in mid-July.
 

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