Once again, MUSC Children's Hospital made it into the top 20 hospitals
for children's heart programs in U.S. News Media Group's 2011 edition
of America's Best Children's Hospitals, achieving a rank of 17.
The rankings are published
online at http://www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals and will be featured
in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report.
"We are indeed proud to be
recognized again as one of the top children's hospitals nationally for
heart and heart surgery," said Phil Saul, M.D., MUSC Children's
Hospital medical director and director of pediatric cardiology. "We are
particularly pleased by our consistently improved ranking, driven by
the highest possible score for surgical survival (12 of 12), which only
three of the top 20 programs received. The bottom line for our patients
is the rankings indicate that children with complex heart conditions
requiring surgery are more likely to survive at MUSC than almost any
other program in the U.S."
Steven and Andrea Thornhill with their son Trent, 4, as he recovers
from his latest heart surgery.
It's a ranking that gives
comfort to parents, such as Steven and Andrea Thornhill, who are happy
their 4-year-old son, Trent, is doing well.
Andrew Atz, M.D.,
director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, said Trent was
diagnosed with a complex congenital heart problem consisting of
essentially one pumping chamber as well as having scoliosis. He has
hadthree open heart cardiac surgeries at MUSC and is doing remarkably
well. The expectation is that he will not need any further heart
surgeries, but will need to be followed closely into adulthood.
It's the kind of success
story that inspires the staff to keep the heart program's ranking high.
The 2011 America's Best
Children's Hospitals, the most extensive listing of its kind, includes
an Honor Roll of 10 pediatric hospitals ranked in all 10 specialties.
Hospitals are ranked in cancer, diabetes and endocrine disorders,
digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders,
neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, respiratory
disorders and urology. A detailed description of the methodology can be
found at http://www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.
MUSC President Ray
Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., said the children of South Carolina are
fortunate to have a heart health program that is among the best in the
nation, and among 3 top 20 programs in the Southeast. "The many
patients and families served by Dr. Saul and his colleagues know
firsthand what a difference this kind of care can make in their lives,"
The Children's Hospital's
heart program has obtained a nearly 99 percent 30-day surgical survival
rate during the last eight years (2003-2011), ranking it among the best
in the world. MUSC physicians and surgeons use a variety of advanced
imaging and interventional techniques to optimize planning and
treatment, including: 3D echo, cardiac CT and MRI, diagnostic
catheterization and non-surgical interventions such as minimally
invasive catheter procedures to complement, postpone or even eliminate
the need for cardiac surgery.
John Sanders, children's
hospital administrator, said the recognition provided by U.S. News
& World Report shows the hard work and passion that the team has
for providing the best care possible for the children it serves. "When
parents are looking for the best center for their child and research
the outcomes for programs across the country, MUSC Children's Hospital
is routinely high on their radar screens," Sanders said. "They should
not be surprised to see programs like Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins
and Mayo Clinic ranked lower. We are proud of the physicians and the
staff involved in our Children's Heart Program."
The Children's Heart
Center, where all pediatric cardiology efforts take place, supports
family-centered comprehensive care enhanced by one of the Southeast's
only dedicated pediatric cardiac intensive care units, designed for the
critical care of all pediatric cardiac cases including postoperative
monitoring and management. A multidisciplinary nursing team with
expertise in caring for children with heart defects minimizes
discomfort and stress for every patient.
Other family support services, such as child-life specialists, further
enhance the patient's experience. This team approach to caring for the
littlest of hearts is also reflected in the statewide network that
supports children with heart disease.
More than 20 pediatric
cardiologists throughout South Carolina and two pediatric cardiac
surgeons in Charleston provide coordinated care unique to South
Carolina through the Children's Heart Program of S.C. Cardiology groups
are based in four locations—Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and
Florence—with outreach clinics in other cities. All of the surgical and
catheterization procedures are performed in the Children's Heart Center
at the MUSC Children's Hospital. This system allows for the highest
level of care by the specialized teams while still assuring that most
of the patient's care is delivered closer to home.
Quite the Ride
Child Life specialist Cory
Prescott, in conjunction with the staff of the university hospital OR,
purchased a Mustang Powerwheels car for children having overnight
surgery. These funds were obtained by a grant from the Volunteer
Advisory Committee. The car helps ease children through the separation
from their caregivers as they go to the operating room, which can be as
anxiety-provoking as the surgery itself. Materials like this car also
allow patients to regain a feeling of control and promote a more
child-centered environment. It was a big hit for Joseph, who used it to
get to his first surgery.