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UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital recognized by U.S. News in seven medical specialties

The University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital has been recognized as one of the nation’s best hospitals for children in seven medical specialties, according to rankings released today (June 9).

“We have had an ongoing commitment to creating an environment at the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital that earns distinction for its quality, hospitality, service and research excellence,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. “We are extremely pleased that so many of our specialties have again been honored with national recognition, which adds to other recent accomplishments such as achieving Baby-Friendly designation.”

In its annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings for 2015-16, U.S. News & World Report listed the following UF Health pediatric specialties as among the nation’s best: diabetes and endocrinology (16th), cardiology and heart surgery (29th), cancer (29th), pulmonology (34th), neonatology (37th), nephrology (40th) and gastroenterology (49th). UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was one of only three hospitals in Florida to be ranked in seven pediatric specialties.

“There is no greater honor than to care for children in need of special services that few academic centers can provide,” said Scott Rivkees, M.D., chairman of the UF College of Medicine department of pediatrics and physician-in-chief of the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. “To meet our special obligation to children, we continue to add world-class faculty members to our programs. We are delighted to be recognized again in the upper echelon of top pediatric hospitals.”

U.S. News’ Best Children’s Hospitals rankings list the top 50 hospitals in each of 10 specialties, including cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was one of 83 hospitals across the country that U.S. News ranked in at least one of these specialties.

“This ranking is a testament to the work our physicians, nurses and staff do every day to treat the thousands of children with serious illnesses who come to us from nearly every county in Florida, more than 40 states and about a dozen other countries,” said Ed Jimenez, chief executive officer for UF Health Shands. “We continually raise the bar to be sure that all of them get the very best care.”

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was the highest-ranked Florida hospital for diabetes and endocrinology as well as for cancer, which rose from being ranked 41st nationally last year.

“This accomplishment is the result of dedicated teamwork,” said William Slayton, M.D., chief of the division of hematology and oncology in the department of pediatrics. “We have made focused efforts in the area of transplant and cellular therapy, palliative care, survivorship and improvements in the school-readiness of our cancer patients. Our team is lasered in on providing outstanding, compassionate care.”

To obtain the rankings, U.S. News & World Report collects survey information about patient data and outcomes directly from hospitals and also queries pediatric specialists and subspecialists to factor in each hospital’s reputation; approximately 11,000 physicians were surveyed over the last three years and asked where they would send children with the most challenging cases in their specialty, regardless of location or expense. The reputation score counts for one-sixth of each hospital’s ranking, while care-related data and patient outcomes account for five-sixths of the score.

“We are incredibly pleased to be recognized as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals,” said Mark Amox, chief administrator for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. “The combined effort of our teams of talented physicians, nurses and clinicians working together to develop new programs, achieve the highest-quality clinical outcomes and provide an environment of care, hope and healing is the reason for our continued rise in national prominence among children’s hospitals.”

The full rankings and methodology are available at and will be published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2016” guidebook, which will be available Sept. 1.

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