UCSF Children's Hospital ranked among the nation's best by US News

By Phyllis Brown

UCSF Children’s Hospital is one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation, according to a new survey announced Friday, Aug. 24, by “US News & World Report.” The magazine ranks UCSF Children’s Hospital 16th in the nation.

“UCSF Medical Center is consistently ranked among the very best hospitals in the nation, so we are very pleased to receive this additional confirmation that we are also meeting the needs of our most medically complex pediatric patients,” said UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret. “We are now working to build a new children’s hospital, located at Mission Bay, that will increase our ability to provide the best healthcare to young patients from our region and around the world,” Laret added.

The ranking affirms the hospital’s expertise in providing advanced patient care to children with complex and often rare illnesses from before birth to young adulthood, according to hospital Executive Director Roxanne Fernandes.

“This recognition is a testament to the efforts our nurses and doctors make every day,” Fernandes said. “Many of the children we treat are very sick, facing such illnesses as rare forms of cancer and blood disease, congenital abnormalities requiring sophisticated fetal and neonatal care, and neurological conditions, including brain tumors. We are committed to these patients, and a major part of our mission is carrying out treatment with compassion and care.”

For nearly 100 years, UCSF has contributed to major breakthroughs in children’s health through the translation of research results into clinical care. UCSF clinicians pioneered the neonatal intensive care unit - now the standard of care for at-risk newborns everywhere. UCSF is the birthplace of fetal surgery, which has led to new ways to treat birth defects. UCSF researchers discovered a missing substance (surfactant) in premature babies’ lungs, and then developed an artificial substitute that increased survival rates from respiratory distress syndrome from 50 to 95 percent in the developed world.

This year, according to Sam Hawgood, MB, BS, chair of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics, doctors at UCSF Children’s Hospital are leading more than 90 studies aimed at improving the health and well being of children everywhere. These studies range from novel immunotherapies for the prevention of type I diabetes to less toxic and more effective treatments for childhood cancer.

The announcement comes as UCSF Medical Center advances its plans to construct a new, 183-bed Children’s Hospital within the next decade at UCSF’s biosciences campus at Mission Bay. Part of a combined women’s, children’s and cancer hospital, it is being designed and located in an environment that will support the translation of cutting-edge scientific discoveries into new medical treatments for children, including therapies that may involve the use of stem cells, Hawgood said.

“The construction of the new children’s hospital will pave the way for UCSF to continue to advance healthcare for children around the world,” he said, including creation of centers of innovation for mothers and newborns; childhood cancer; pediatric cardiac center; the neurosciences; diabetes; transplantation and regenerative medicine and genomic medicine.

For its 2007 survey, US News evaluated 113 children’s hospitals and ranked 30 of them as the best children’s hospitals. Survey results appear in the Sept. 3 issue of the magazine and on the magazine web site at health.usnews.com.

The US News issue is the first devoted solely to pediatric care. In the past, pediatric care was included in the magazine’s “Best Hospitals” issue, with a score based solely on reputation. US News officials said they decided to publish a separate issue devoted to children’s hospitals after revamping their evaluation methodology by surveying hospitals on a series of measures to arrive at a more analytical score.

“The rankings, like their adult Best Hospitals counterparts, now reflect a three-part mix of reputation, death rate, and care-related factors such as volume, nursing care, advanced technology, and recognition by outside organizations,” according to the publication.

The top ranked children’s hospitals for 2007 are:

1 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
2 Children’s Hospital Boston
3 Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4 Children’s Hospital, Denver
5 Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland
6 Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston
7 Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
8 New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
9 Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle
10 Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
11 Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
12 Columbus Children’s Hospital
13 Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
14 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
15 St. Louis Children’s Hospital
16 UCSF Children’s Hospital, San Francisco
17 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
18 Primary Children’s Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
19 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
20 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis
21 Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Los Angeles
22 Univ. of Mich. C.S. Mott Children’s Hosp., Ann Arbor
23 Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
24 Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.
25 Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago
26 Miami Children’s Hospital
27 Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis
28 Children’s Medical Center Dallas
29 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
30 Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

One of the nation’s top children’s hospitals, UCSF Children’s Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the healing edge of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 1,600 babies born there.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care.