Some preschoolers like to talk about their new toys or new shoes. Stasia Scharman likes to talk about her new heart.
Three-year-old Stasia is one of 13 patients at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital who received a heart transplant in 2016, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. And successes like Stasia’s helped lift Primary Children’s to new heights as a nationally ranked hospital. For the first time, Primary Children’s has been ranked as one of the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals in all 10 pediatric specialties measured by U.S. News & World Report. The 10-out-of-10 group is a small one: Just 24 of the some 200 U.S. children’s hospitals included in the U.S. News & World Report were ranked in all ten specialties this year.
“Primary Children’s rankings demonstrate our continued drive for excellence, and the cooperation and commitment to excellent care shared by Primary Children’s Hospital and our pediatric colleagues at the University of Utah,” Primary Children’s CEO Katy Welkie said. “Our expert teams are dedicated not only to providing outstanding and compassionate care to children, but to adhering to our philosophy, ‘The Child First and Always®,’ in all that we do.”
Primary Children’s is nationally ranked among the Best Children’s Hospitals as follows:
- Cardiology and Heart Surgery (14th)
- Neurology and Neurosurgery (22nd)
- Orthopedics (23rd) — a joint recognition in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City
- Cancer (25th)
- Gastroenterology and GI surgery (29th)
- Urology (35th)
- Neonatology (39th)
- Diabetes & Endocrinology (45th)
- Nephrology (47th)
- Pulmonology (49th)
The rankings represent a sustained, upward trend for Primary Children’s, and the hospital’s highest level of achievement on the U.S. News rankings to date. Last year, Primary Children’s was ranked among the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals in nine of the 10 specialties. This year, Primary Children’s added Pulmonology to the list of its nationally ranked pediatric specialties. In 2015-2016, Primary Children’s was ranked in seven of U.S. News’ 10 specialties, and in just five of the 10 specialties in the 2013-2014 report.
“Our culture at Primary Children’s is to always improve,” said Chris Maloney, Chief Medical Officer for Primary Children’s Hospital and Division Chief of Pediatric Inpatient Medicine for the University of Utah School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. “This report recognizes our achievements and efforts to continue providing the highest quality of care to children in the Intermountain West.”
U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. Stasia’s family found that care at Primary Children’s, which is relatively near their Salt Lake Valley home. Proximity to outstanding care is helpful for families who require complex surgeries or medical procedures.
Stasia was 1 week old when she had her first heart surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect detected and monitored at the Primary Children’s Fetal Heart Center before she was born. After two surgeries, the family learned Stasia would require a heart transplant. Following just a few weeks on the transplant list, Stasia received her new heart in October.
“She loves to tell people about her heart. Whenever she sees a picture of a heart, she’ll say, ‘I have one of those in my chest!’ She’ll touch the scars on her chest and say, ‘That’s where my heart goes in,’” said Stasia’s mother, Aubrey Scharman. “She’s a princess. She loves to play with her tea set, wear dresses, and go shopping. She’s just a blast – and we are so grateful to have her with us.”
The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings include the nation’s top 50 children’s hospitals in each specialty. The rankings methodology considers clinical outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, efficiency and coordination of care delivery, and compliance with best practices. This year, nearly 200 hospitals participated in the U.S. News report; 82 were ranked in at least one specialty.
This year’s rankings will be published in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2018” guidebook and available on newsstands Sept. 12.
Intermountain Healthcare's Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City received rankings in all 10 specialties measured by U.S. News and World Report.