UCSF Medical Center, Children's Hospital Make Best Hospitals List

July 07, 2006
News Office: Carol Hyman (415) 502-6397

UCSF Medical Center has risen to No. 9 among "America's Best Hospitals" and UCSF Children's Hospital has been recognized as one of the highest quality pediatric facilities in California and No. 19 in the United States.

In its annual "America's Best Hospitals" issue, U.S. News & World Report reviewed more than 6,000 hospitals, to produce a list of fewer than 200 leaders in health care.

Results of the U.S. News 17th annual survey appear in the July 17 issue of the magazine and on the Web at www.usnews.com.

"The mission, unchanged over 17 years," according to U.S. News, "has been to identify centers that take on and excel at tough procedures and conditions — rare cancers, worsening heart failure, seemingly untreatable leg-artery blockages. That is why most of the institutions ranked are referral centers, where the sickest patients are sent for advanced care. Such hospitals follow — and often pioneer — new treatment guidelines. They conduct bench-to-bedside research. And they exploit the latest advances in imaging, surgical devices and other technologies."

Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, said, "More than 6,000 physicians, nurses and staff at UCSF Medical Center are driven each day to provide the highest quality, most compassionate and patient-centered care to tens of thousands of patients who entrust their health and lives to us each year. It is gratifying to have our service and expertise recognized in this way."

"Patients from all over the country, and even from other parts of the world, come to UCSF because they know the physicians and researchers here are part of a distinctive team who define excellence," Laret continued. "This excellence has not only won us awards, but perhaps more important, it has won us the trust and respect of thousands who have been treated by this stellar UCSF team."

"This survey distinguishes America's university hospitals and referral centers as the top tier in our national healthcare system, providing the most complex care to the sickest patients," he added. "These are the centers where the next generation of physicians are trained, and where medical research is being translated into patient care."

The U.S. News ranking comes during a time of several landmark developments for UCSF:

  • In a UCSF study, sipuleucel-T, a therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine tested through a series of clinical trials, has been found to delay disease progression and prolong survival in patients with asymptomatic metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). According to UCSF urologists, this represents the first time that immunotherapy has provided a survival advantage in prostate cancer.

  • Building on its foundation as a leading site for pediatric brain tumor research and care, UCSF has established a Pediatric Brain Tumor Institute devoted to understanding and developing new treatments for childhood brain tumors. The Institute's research will focus on the biology of pediatric brain tumors, which is not as well understood as that of brain tumors in adults, to provide new treatments for children with brain tumors by using innovative, biologically based strategies.

  • A first of its kind, the UCSF Asian Heart & Vascular Center is serving the specific cardiovascular care needs of Asians in the Bay Area and beyond, focusing on advanced heart care treatment that is respectful of the cultural, genetic and physiological differences that distinguish the Asian population. Featuring a stress echocardiogram lab, patient screening rooms, and an education and research center equipped with staff, computers, and reading materials, patients and community members can access the Center to learn about heart disease, prevention and treatment options.

  • A new, state-of-the-art UCSF Children's Hospital is in the planning stages. To be built on the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, the new facility will create a welcoming environment where children and their families will find compassionate care at the healing edge of scientific discovery.

  • The newly renovated UCSF Spine Center now is one of the largest centers of its kind in the country, treating 10,000 patients a year. Experts in cancer, pain management, physical therapy, radiation oncology and rheumatology are helping patients by using advanced technology and novel treatments, including the ability to remove tumors from the cervical region of the spine that were previously thought "inoperable." UCSF is the only medical institution in the United States where patients can undergo this surgery with minimal or no neural manipulation.

The "America's Best Hospitals" methodology is based on a series of factors, including a survey of more than 8,000 physicians. The methodology was devised in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which has carried out and refined the analysis ever since.

Another decisive factor for hospitals included in the U.S. News rankings is affiliation with an academic medical institution. UCSF's strength at translating basic research into clinical care has made it a leader in the discovery and application of groundbreaking treatments for rare and complicated diseases and conditions.

Laret said, "With one of the top medical research programs in the country, research at UCSF is being translated to treatment in areas such as kidney transplants, where UCSF has done more than any center in the world, to fetal treatment, where birth defects are being treated with techniques pioneered here. And our new UCSF Children's Hospital, to be built on our Mission Bay campus, will have even more to offer children and families, with advanced research and clinical facilities and a nurturing environment."

The medical centers on U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll are:

  1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  3. Cleveland Clinic
  4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  5. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
  7. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
  8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
  9. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
  10. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle

In medical specialties UCSF ranked consistently high:

Cancer: 10
Digestive Disorders: 12
Ear, Nose and Throat: 15
Endocrinology: 4
Gynecology: 9
Heart and Heart Surgery: 19
Kidney Disease: 10
Neurology and Neurosurgery: 6
Ophthalmology: 10
Orthopedics: 25
Psychiatry: 16
Respiratory Disorders: 10
Rheumatology: 10
Urology: 11

This news release has been modified for the website