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Thursday, July 16, 2009 - VCU Health System Again Ranks Among “America’s Best Hospitals”

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has been ranked in U.S. News Media Group’s 2009 publication of America’s Best Hospitals. The VCU Health System is the only medical center in Central Virginia to be ranked in the report.

The VCU Health System specifically was noted for excellence in heart and heart surgery, ranked 44th in the country. It also ranked 44th in the country for treating people with kidney disease, 45th in the country for orthopedics, and 20th in the country for rehabilitation.

“Our strategic plan is about commitment to top-notch specialty programs, leading-edge research and superior workforce development,” said Dr. Sheldon Retchin, VCU Health System CEO. “Increasing to four programs being recognized as among the very best in America reaffirms our vision to be the preeminent academic health center in the nation.”

This is the third consecutive year that the VCU Health System has been ranked in the U.S. News’ Best Hospitals report. The VCU Health System was one of 174 medical centers to be ranked among the best out of survey of about 4,800 hospitals.

“We are absolutely delighted at this recognition as it is strong evidence that our investments in physicians, staff and technology are propelling us into a very special group of hospitals across America,” said MCV Hospitals CEO John Duval. “This and our enduring commitment to quality and safety make for a bright future for the VCU Health System.”

The VCU Pauley Heart Center is recognized nationally for its heart failure and heart transplantation programs, and was among the first in the United States to implant the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart, the only total artificial heart approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The heart center is comprised of the Divisions of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatric Cardiology. Pauley Heart Center’s superior performance resulted in the VCU Health System’s recognition as one of the top 100 U.S. hospitals for cardiovascular care, according to a Thomson Reuters study.

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is noted for its treatment of adult and pediatric traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, return-to-work and pain management therapies and electrodiagnostic services.  The department also plays an integral role in the VCU Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, or CERSE, a partnership of the VCU Schools of Medicine, Allied Health, Engineering, Education and the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. The center provides physical medicine and rehabilitation services addressing the needs of America’s warriors and heroes, children and adults with disabilities, and their families.

The Division of Nephrology provides specialized care of patients with a variety of kidney disorders and hypertension. The VCU Health System is among the nation’s most active and successful kidney-transplant hospitals. The VCU Hume-Lee Transplant Center performs more than 100 kidney transplants each year and has performed more than 2,000 kidney transplants and 100 pancreas transplants for Type 1 diabetes.

The VCU Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and experienced programs in the country. Expert physicians and nurse managers help patients regain and maintain their active lifestyles and participation in their favorite sports, recreational activities and job tasks. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the orthopaedic team provides patients with the most appropriate and responsive treatment available.

The Best Hospitals 2009-2010 publication is accessible online at

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