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Children’s Hospital ranked among best in nation in eight specialties

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital has been ranked in eight specialties – its most ever – in U.S. News & World Report's 2015-16 Best Children's Hospitals rankings.

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital ranked in cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which Penn State Hershey has been ranked in multiple specialties. The Children's Hospital first made the Best Children's Hospitals list in 2008.

The rankings come as no surprise to parents like Valerie Hester, whose 6-year-old daughter Savannah has been treated at Penn State Hershey since age 2, when she was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a condition that does not allow the stomach to empty. After several surgeries and office visits over the past four years, Savannah is wrapping up first grade and looking forward to drawing, painting and playing outside this summer.

“Their physicians and staff are like family,” Valerie said. “Their hearts are warm to the children. They care for kids both physically and emotionally.”

The U.S. News rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. hospitals in each of ten pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

“This national recognition is a testament to the unparalleled care and support our physicians, nurses, clinical specialists and other staff provide for children and families every day,” said Dr. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, and Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs. “The U.S. News rankings reinforce for our community that Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is among the best when it comes to offering a full spectrum of high-level pediatric care, and we do it right here in central Pennsylvania.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children's Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of sick children find the best medical care available, especially for complex conditions. The rankings offer families an array of detailed information about each hospital's performance.

In compiling the latest rankings, U.S. News considered several objective criteria. Most of each hospital's score relied on patient outcomes and care-related resources. U.S. News garnered clinical data from a detailed questionnaire sent to 184 pediatric hospitals. A sixth of the score came from annual surveys of pediatric specialists and subspecialists who were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty, setting aside location and expense.

The full rankings and methodology are available at

PHOTO CAPTION: 6-year-old Savannah Hester of Hummelstown shows off her drawing of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

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