U.S. News & World Report has recognized Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in its new 2018-19 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
CHoR is the only hospital in Virginia to rank in the nephrology and pulmonology categories. The hospital rose from No. 45 to No. 41 in nephrology and ranked No. 43 in pulmonology. This is the fifth time CHoR has been ranked for kidney care and its first ranking in pulmonology.
“I’m truly proud of our team for earning this national recognition — not for the acknowledgement or the shiny badges — but for the thousands of children from Virginia and beyond who benefit from our kidney and respiratory programs,” said Elias Neujahr, CEO of CHoR. “Our decrease in asthma-related emergency room visits, excellent outcomes for patients with cystic fibrosis, and impressive kidney transplant program are all examples of how we are dedicated to continuing to advance children’s health in our community. Families can find expert care in all of pediatric medicine close to home.”
6-year-olds patients Daniel (nephrology) and Cheyanna (pulmonary medicine) benefit from the nationally-ranked kidney and respiratory care at CHoR. They celebrated after a special photo shoot to announce the rankings.
The nephrology and pulmonary divisions provide care for children with a variety of acute and chronic kidney and respiratory problems. Asthe region’s only full-service children’s hospital, CHoR is also home to Central Virginia’s only pediatric kidney transplant program and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation accredited CF center. The teams care for children from across Virginia and beyond, with a main campus in downtown Richmond and satellite offices as far as Fredericksburg.
The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 specialties. U.S. News introduced the rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available.
Michael Schechter, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and director of the You Can Control Asthma Now program at CHoR, said the annual survey data is one of several sources of ideas for implementing new quality, safety and patient-centered initiatives.
“I’m proud to be recognized as one of the top pulmonary centers across the country for the care we provide to our patients and their families,” Schechter said. “The real honor though is getting the opportunity to help children in need and to enable them to live active and healthy lives. I look forward to further programmatic growth and expansion so we can reach every child in Virginia with respiratory difficulties who would benefit from our care.”
Schechter said many of the children they treat have complex chronic conditions that require a team approach. “Our ability to provide high quality care is dependent upon close collaboration with multiple pediatric subspecialists and other specialized pediatric service areas such as nursing, psychology, social work, nutrition and respiratory therapy – all available at CHOR.”
“It takes a team to care for kids with complex pediatric kidney disease,” said Timothy Bunchman, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology. “We address everything from nutrition to disease education and social concerns, all the while treating our patients as if they are part of our family.”
Patients like 6-year-old Daniel Phoeuk benefit from this level of kidney care. Phoeuk was diagnosed at birth with renal dysplasia, the No. 1 cause of chronic kidney diseases. While Phoeuk will require a kidney transplant, Bunchman’s team helps ensure he gets to continue being a normal kid.
“He does everything 6-year-olds do,” Bunchman said. “That’s how we know we’re doing our best job!”
Robert Jette feels the same way about the pulmonary team that manages his 6-year-old daughter Cheyanna’s cystic fibrosis.
“My advice for families is that they can rest assured that their child is getting the best possible medical care available at CHoR,” Robert Jette said. “They are extremely dedicated to my daughter. Every time we go there they have 100 percent focus on how she’s doing, where she’s been and where she’s going with her health. To me that’s extremely important and reflected in their national award.”
The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.
This year’s rankings will be published in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2019” guidebook.