As I have written before, here at UNC our goal is to become the nation's leading public academic medical institution that means providing the best possible care with the latest evidence and the most compassion possible. I think we are moving toward achieving that goal and programs like the ones we instituted this year as part of the 100,000 Lives campaign exemplify the difference we make in the care we provide.
We have just received some external validation for UNC Health Care's service that I'll share with you. In the July 17 issue of U.S. News & World Report, just out this week on newsstands, hospitals across the country are ranked for the specialty care that they provide. This year, seven of our departments received top-50 rankings in the issue:
¢ Cancer, 41
¢ Digestive Disorders, 26
¢ Ear, Nose & Throat, 18
¢ Gynecology, 16
¢ Kidney Disease, 29
¢ Urology, 32
¢ Psychiatry, 22
Let me put into context what an honor this is. Out of 5,198 hospitals evaluated nationwide, only 176 (3%) received top-50 rankings in one or more of the specialties assessed. The scores are established on the basis of issues like severity-adjusted mortality and patient volume and on the hospital's reputation among specialist physicians and the fine scores that our hospital received are a clear indication that we are making progress on the goals we have set.
In case you are wondering about these terrific programs, here are brief descriptions of each. Let me just say once again how pleased I am — and a hearty congratulations to the dedicated and hardworking staff and faculty who make up these departments.
CANCER (ranked 41):
Cancer care at UNC is coordinated through the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, headed by Dr. Richard Goldberg. This new facility, now under construction, is the clinical home of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was established in 1975 and is headed by Dr. Shelton Earp. Lineberger is one of 40 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and it has one of only eight Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in breast cancer in the United States, and one of only 4 Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in gastrointestinal cancers in the United States.
DIGESTIVE DISORDERS (ranked 26):
UNC's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, headed by Dr. Robert Sandler, provides highly specialized, compassionate care for patients with gastrointestinal, liver and nutritional diseases. The division is a national leader in research initiatives that further our understanding of complex disease processes and lead to innovative therapeutics.
EAR, NOSE AND THROAT (ranked 18):
The Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, headed by Dr. Harold C. Pillsbury III, has a long history of excellence dating back to the opening of N.C. Memorial Hospital in 1952. In recent years the department has become known as a leader in cochlear implant surgery, which enables many deaf people to regain a functional level of hearing.
GYNECOLOGY (ranked 16):
Gynecology services at UNC Hospitals are housed in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, headed by Dr. Daniel Clarke-Pearson. The department is known as a leader in areas such as advanced laparoscopy and gynecologic surgery, treatment of gynecologic cancers and maternal-fetal medicine.
KIDNEY DISEASE (ranked 29):
Patients with kidney problems receive excellent care through UNC's Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, headed by Dr. Ronald Falk. Care for kidney patients is provided in seven outpatient clinics, plus the UNC Hospitals kidney and kidney transplant wards and community-based dialysis units in Burlington, Carrboro, Sanford, Siler City, Yanceyville and Pittsboro.
UROLOGY (ranked 32):
Urology services at UNC are provided by the Division of Urologic Surgery, headed by Dr. Culley Carson. The division's faculty have expertise in all areas of clinical urology, and combine up-to-date knowledge of cutting-edge therapies with a solid understanding of standard practices.
PSYCHIATRY (ranked 22):
UNC's Department of Psychiatry, headed by Dr. David Rubinow, integrates state-of-the-art biological, psychological, and social approaches in the care of patients and their families. The department houses the only comprehensive eating disorders program in the Southeast, and is known as a research leader in areas such as depression and schizophrenia.