The Nebraska Medical Center named one of America’s Best Hospitals

The Nebraska Medical Center has been named one of America’s best hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 publication of America’s Best Hospitals. For the first time, the medical center is ranked for two services, Cancer and Neurology & Neurosurgery. The July 21st edition of US News hits news stands Monday, July 14, but is available online on July 11 at
In the list of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer care, The Nebraska Medical Center ranked 39th. On the list of best hospitals for Neurology & Neurosurgery, the medical center is 41st.


“Our cancer and neurology rankings in U.S. News & World Report provide national recognition of specialized expertise, quality, technology and reputation from our peers around the country,” said Glenn Fosdick, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. “We’re proud of this accomplishment and our talented team at The Nebraska Medical Center, who provide the highest level of care to our community.”


“Our patients get the best of both worlds – the clinical expertise of our academic and private practice physicians and the work being done by the researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center,” said Fosdick.


Out of 5,453 hospitals across the country considered, only the top 170 medical centers were selected for the 2008 America’s Best Hospital’s report. The report focused on 16 areas of specialty from cancer to urology.


“The cancer ranking is a reflection of the comprehensive quality of our care and the most cutting edge cancer treatments available at our medical center,” said Theresa Franco, executive director of the Cancer Care service line at The Nebraska Medical Center. “We are the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the five-state region from North Dakota down to Texas. It is a true team effort of all our clinical staff that combines oncology & hematology headed by Dr. Julie Vose, radiation oncology headed by Dr. Charles Enke, and surgical oncology directed by Dr. James Edney, coupled with the strength of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center and its status as a leading national cancer center.”
“This cancer ranking confirms our commitment to cancer patients and we are humbled by the recognition,” added Franco. “However, this recognition does not mean we will stop striving to be better in the care delivered everyday. We take the journey to excellence very seriously.”


“The neurology & neurosurgery ranking is a reflection of the clinical expertise, state-of-the-art technology and research available at our medical center,” said Deb Istas, executive director of the Neurological Sciences service line at The Nebraska Medical Center.


“Our epilepsy center has been recognized by The National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a level four regional center for the treatment of epilepsy – the highest designation possible and our stroke program is the first program in the state to receive certification from The Joint Commission, a nationally and internationally recognized leader in health care quality evaluation. Our neurosurgeons provide state-of-the-art care to patients throughout Nebraska and the surrounding region offering highly specialized treatment of the spine and the spinal cord, brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease and disorders of peripheral nervous system.”


This neurology recognition is the result of a team effort that combines the expertise of both academic and private practice neurologists and neurosurgeons. Leading this team is Dr. Pierre Fayad, Chairman Department of Neurological Sciences, and Dr. Ken Follett, Chief of Neurosurgery along with their private practice partners.


The 16 ranked specialties ranked by U.S.News & World Report are cancer; gastroenterology; ear, nose, and throat; endocrinology; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.


“The America’s Best Hospitals rankings provide readers with trusted material during some of life’s most concerning times – hospitalization,” said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S.News & World Report. “Our rankings highlight the internal culture of excellence embraced by caregivers in the great hospitals throughout the U.S.”
“Talent and money alone don’t put hospitals in the rankings,” agreed Best Hospitals editor Avery Comarow. “The truly best hospitals are never satisfied,” he said. “Of course they have high medical standards. But the emphasis is not only on doing well, but always doing better–squeezing another few percentage points out of the infection rate, improving the quality of life of elderly patients besides helping more of them survive.”


The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties weigh three elements equally: reputation, death rate, and a set of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. In these 12 specialties, hospitals have to pass through several gates to be ranked and considered a Best Hospital:

  • The first gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked at all by requiring that any of three conditions be met–to be a teaching hospital, to be affiliated with a teaching hospital, or to have at least six important medical technologies from a defined list of 13.
  • The second gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked in a particular specialty. To be eligible, the hospital had to either have at least a specified volume in certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated in our yearly specialist survey.
    The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.
    In the four other specialties–ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology–ranking is based solely on reputation, derived from the three most recent physician surveys.


About The Nebraska Medical Center: With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center has earned J.D. Power and Associates’ Hospital of Distinction award for inpatient services for three consecutive years. It is a US News & World Report 2008 “Best Hospital” for Cancer, Neurology and Neurosurgery. It also received the 2007 Consumer Choice Award, a mark of patient satisfaction as selected by healthcare consumers and has achieved Magnet recognition status for nursing excellence, Thomson 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader recognition, as well as the Award of Progress from the state of Nebraska’s Edgerton Quality Awards Program. As the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this 624 licensed bed academic medical center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation services and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at



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