N.C. Children's Hospital ranked as one of the best in the nation

Thursday, June 18, 2009 — N.C. Children's Hospital is one of the best children's hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News Media Group's 2009 edition of America's Best Children's Hospitals, the most extensive listing of its kind. The publication has recognized N.C. Children’s Hospital as eleventh in the nation among those caring for children with respiratory disorders. The ranking will appear online at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals and be featured in the August issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands starting July 21.

"This marks the second consecutive year that N.C. Children's Hospital attained the highest ranking of any children's hospital in the state," said Dr. Alan Stiles, the Children's Hospital's chief physician and chair of pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine. "Families across North Carolina can rest easy knowing that, if and when they need it, their children have access to world-class care at one of the best children's hospitals in the entire country—not only here in Chapel Hill but at more than 25 satellite clinics throughout the state."

"While they might be a small percentage of all hospital patients, a large number of children every year need high-quality hospital care," said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. "The objective of the Best Children's Hospitals rankings is to help children with uniquely challenging medical needs, and for these special patients, it is essential they seek treatment at pediatric facilities with deep expertise. With this year's rankings, we're providing important information on the best of the best."

The methodology behind this year’s rankings weighed a three-part blend of reputation, outcome, and care-related measures such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, and other factors. The hospitals were judged based on a combination of opinions from pediatric specialists about the hospitals they would recommend for the sickest children and data gathered in a 65-page survey covering important medical information ranging from surgical death rates to whether pediatric anesthesiologists and other sub specialists are on the staff. A detailed description of the methodology can be found at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

Hospitals are ranked in 10 specialty categories: cancer, diabetes and endocrine disorders, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, respiratory disorders, and urology.

"Like our respiratory program, which brings together the largest concentration of pediatric airway specialists in the Southeast, we have nationally renowned clinical programs in several pediatric subspecialties," added Stiles. "Because the ranking methodology weighs so heavily on reputation, I think we'll do even better in future rankings as we heighten the visibility of those programs and our faculty's vast accomplishments in the patient care and research arenas."

Ranking-eligible facilities were largely drawn from two membership categories of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI): freestanding children’s hospitals, or “hospitals within a hospital” (large, multidisciplinary pediatric departments within a medical center). Several non-NACHRI members were added because of known expertise or at the recommendation of experts. Of the 160 children’s hospitals invited to complete the 65-page survey, 98 responded. The survey was created and administered by RTI International, the same respected research organization that collects the data and oversees the methodology behind the adult Best Hospitals rankings.

N.C. Children’s Hospital’s placement on the 2009 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals further distinguishes UNC Hospitals, which has been included in U.S. News & World Report’s America's Best Hospitals issue rankings for the last 16 years in a row.

Media representatives interested in faculty interviews related to this news release should contact Danielle Bates at 919.843.9714 or dbates@med.unc.edu to coordinate.



North Carolina Children's Hospital protects the health and well-being of North Carolina's 2.1 million children by aligning premier health care practitioners, world-class medical education, and innovative, interdisciplinary research to provide the highest-quality, family-centered care, regardless of a family's ability to pay. As a major referral center for children with complex and chronic conditions, N.C. Children's Hospital works hand-in-hand with community hospitals and pediatricians across the state, providing specialty care to more than 70,000 children from all 100 counties each year.

N.C. Children's Hospital offers complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care in its 136-bed state-of-the-art facility at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and at more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina. The Children's Hospital's world-class physicians, nurses and other clinical staff represent all pediatric subspecialties and are capable of treating children with virtually any disease or disorder. For more information, please visit www.ncchildrenshospital.org.


The Pediatric Pulmonology Division is the heart of the pediatric respiratory program, offering comprehensive diagnosis and treatment to infants and children with acute and chronic pulmonary disorders. The division's physicians are nationally and internationally renowned for their clinical expertise and research endeavors, making N.C. Children's Hospital a major referral center for children with many pulmonary diseases, including cystic fibrosis, asthma, primary ciliary dyskinesia, sarcoidosis, and congenital and acquired airway disorders. The Children’s Hospital is also home of the North Carolina Children’s Airway Center, one of only five pediatric airway centers in the nation and the only one located on the Eastern seaboard.


The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, which is ranked among the top 50 in the nation in six specialties by U.S. News & World Report and ranked one of the country’s 41 best on the Leapfrog 2007 Top Hospitals list; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County. UNC Health Care also manages Chatham Hospital in Siler City.


Founded in 1933, U.S. News & World Report is devoted to reporting and to analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology and social trends. Through its annual editions of America's Best Colleges, America’s Best Graduate Schools, America's Best Hospitals, America’s Best Health Plans and America’s Best Leaders, as well as its News You Can Use® brand, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News website (www.usnews.com) extends that brand promise and delivers the best, most accurate information online, organized in an easily accessible way.


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