MUSC Children’s Hospital listed in America’s Best Children’s Hospitals


Heather Woolwine

May 17, 2011

MUSC Children’s Hospital listed in America’s Best Children’s Hospitals

Annual U.S. News & World Report rankings cite children’s heart program

CHARLESTON -- MUSC Children’s Hospital has again been ranked in 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 and 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 J. Philip 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 3 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 US."

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. This year’s rankings methodology weighed a three-part blend of reputation, outcome, and care-related measures such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, and other factors. A detailed description of the methodology can be found at

"The children of South Carolina are fortunate to have a heart health program that is among the best in the nation, and among only 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," said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC president.

The Children’s Hospital’s heart program has obtained a nearly 99 percent 30-day surgical survival rate over the last 8 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.

"The recognition provided by US News and World Report shows the hard work and passion that our team has for providing the best care possible for the children we serve. When parents are looking for the best center for their child and research the outcomes for various programs across the country, MUSC Children's Hospital is routinely high on their radar screens," said John Sanders, Children’s Hospital administrator. "They should not be surprised to see programs like Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic ranked lower. We are very proud of the physicians and all 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 South Carolina. Cardiology groups are based in four locations – Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Florence – with outreach clinics in a variety of 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.

About MUSC Children’s Hospital

Built in 1987, MUSC Children's Hospital is the largest and most comprehensive pediatric health care center in South Carolina. Our children’s health system is dedicated to providing a variety of services and programs to benefit the health and well being of children. MUSC Children’s Hospital has been nationally ranked for its specialty services by Child Magazine, Best Doctors and U.S. News & World Report. The hospital has the only Level III neonatal intensive care unit in the region where the tiniest newborns are provided state-of-the-art care, and the only full-service Children’s Emergency Department in South Carolina, which was ranked 9th nationally in 2007 by Child Magazine. For more information visit or Also, follow us on Twitter @MUSCkids and become a fan of the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital on Facebook.