American Family Children’s Hospital Moves Up in US News Annual Rankings

American Family Children’s Hospital has moved up substantially in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings of children’s hospitals.

The hospital is ranked among the top 50 children’s hospitals in seven medical and surgical specialties:

  • Cancer (29)
  • Diabetes/Endocrinology (41)
  • Gastroenterology (26)
  • Neonatology (29)
  • Orthopedics (23)
  • Pulmonology (25)
  • Urology (39)

The hospital was ranked in seven specialties among the top 50 last year. While last year’s rankings were mainly in the forties, this year, most specialties ranked in the twenties. This is significant because all children’s hospitals are focused on improvement, so achieving a high national ranking becomes more challenging each year.

American Family Children’s Hospital has been open just short of five years, said Jeff Poltawsky, vice president of the hospital. “Our commitment to create one of the best and safest children’s hospitals in the nation is bolstered by the support we get from our community. We have achieved so much in five years by having a focused priority for clinical excellence in pediatric care that is patient and family-centered. We are honored to be in such good company with some of the most prestigious children’s hospitals in the country.”

Although American Family Children’s Hospital is one of the smallest pediatric hospitals in the country, we have built a strong national reputation and the performance to back it up, said Dr. Ellen Wald, chair of pediatrics. “I am very happy for the parents and children we serve and for the teams of people who work here every day.”

Rankings were based on surveys of children’s hospitals across the country. The survey asked questions concerning survival rates, infection rates, nurse staffing, sub-specialist availability and other critical information difficult for those in charge of a child’s care to find on their own. This is only the sixth time US News has ranked the top 50 children’s hospitals.

The data from the survey were combined with recommendations from pediatric specialists on the hospitals they consider best for children with challenging problems. This year, the survey gave greater weight to certain indicators of clinical performance.

The 61-bed American Family Children’s Hospital opened in August 2007 and offers a comforting setting that aims to enhance the healing process for patients and their families. The “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” campaign, now underway, will add needed critical-care beds and other services to the hospital.

American Family Children’s Hospital is part of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, which has also been ranked by U.S. News and World Report every year since 1993 and has been the recipient of several national safety and quality recognition honors.

Our community can be very proud of this children’s hospital, said Donna Katen-Bahensky, CEO of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. “So many people have worked hard to achieve this national recognition.”