University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Named a “Best Children’s Hospital” for Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2022
June 14, 2022
For the fifth year in a row, the University of Maryland Children's Hospital (UMCH) is identified as a national leader in pediatric heart care by U.S. News & World Report. Recognizing UMCH as a "Best Children's Hospital" for Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery, U.S. News & World Report also lauded UMCH as the #2 children's hospital in the state, and one of the top 15 children's hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
UMCH is located inside the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), the University of Maryland Medical System's flagship academic hospital in downtown Baltimore. Providers routinely refer their most complex pediatric cases to UMCH for a broad range of medical needs. The closely watched annual Best Hospitals rankings are based on clinical data from hundreds of medical centers and surveys of over 15,000 pediatric specialists.
"The University of Maryland Children's Hospital is thrilled to receive this recognition from our peers and U.S. News & World Report. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members at UMCH. Because of their exceptional capabilities and compassion, providers across the country feel confident in referring patients to us who are at the most critical points in their journey to treatment and recovery," said Steven J. Czinn, MD, the Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and Director of the University of Maryland Children's Hospital.
"We are committed as a high performing team to providing excellent and innovative care to our pediatric heart patients," said Christine Lau, MD, the Robert W. Buxton Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at UMSOM, and Surgeon-in-Chief at UMMC."
The Heart of a Children's Hospital
UMCH's Children's Heart Program is known for achieving outcomes that regularly exceed national standards in overall case survival, survival by complexity category, and length of stay. Staffed with board-certified pediatric heart surgeons and cardiologists, and a specialized intensive care team, the program takes care of children with congenital and acquired heart diseases from the womb into adulthood.
The program is founded in academic discoveries by physician-scientists with UMSOM, and offers some of the most advanced pediatric heart surgery in the world. Empathy and sensitivity to each patient family's unique circumstances are also hallmarks of the Children's Heart Program at UMCH.
"After our son's heart surgery, his big sister was uneasy with the tubing she was seeing in pictures of her little brother. A Child Life specialist on our son's care team customized a doll for her with tubes she could explore and take out. That helped normalize the experience and took away a lot of her anxiety," said Summer Porter, whose son Aryn was born seven weeks prematurely with multiple heart issues, including a ventricular hole in his heart's bottom chambers.
Repairing Aryn's tiny heart, which at the time was about the size of a strawberry, would require complex surgery to close the hole and create functioning valves. Very few medical centers are equipped to operate on a heart that small and to provide the necessary intensive care expertise for recovery.
An elite team of infant heart specialists ultimately performed a successful operation on Aryn, who recovered in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit. "By the time Aryn was discharged home after his heart surgery at University of Maryland Children's Hospital, his weight had doubled and he continues to grow," Porter added.
Another little patient's parent weighed in on the care his son received at UMCH. "I quickly came to trust the expertise of the surgeons and cardiologists at UMCH, which is really important when your child is facing major heart surgery," said Kenneth Ingram.
Ingram's son Noah also required surgery on his heart when he was just a few weeks old, for a rare condition called Truncus arteriosus with discontinuous pulmonary arteries. The UMCH heart team rebuilt Noah's arteries and connected them to his heart—and today he is physically thriving. Ingram notes that Noah is also surpassing some milestones ahead of children in his age group. "He's an exceptionally bright and vivacious child," Ingram said.
"These successful outcomes underscore why our Children's Heart Program is a recognized leader in the planning and execution of customized therapeutic strategies for complex congenital heart disease in neonates, infants, children and young adults," said Joseph M. Forbess, MD, Professor of Surgery at UMSOM and Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at UMCH. Dr. Forbess led the surgeries for both Aryn and Noah.
"There is nothing more gratifying for our team than to see how well children are doing after a major heart procedure, whether it's a month, a year, or many years later. We will always consider them part of our family," said Geoffrey L. Rosenthal, MD, PhD, Director of the Children's Heart Program at UMCH and Professor of Pediatrics at UMSOM.
Bert W. O'Malley, MD, President and CEO of UMMC, said, "Our children's hospital continues to be the preferred partner for pediatric tertiary and quaternary care. I commend the team at UMCH for these latest accolades by U.S. News and World Report, and most importantly, for the young lives they improve and save every day through their academic research and exceptional surgical skills."
In addition to heart care, UMCH provides experts in gastroenterology, pediatric cancer, transplant, endocrinology, critical care, psychiatric care, and the neurosciences. Treatment at UMCH is evidence-based and often innovative in its respective field. The majority of physicians at UMCH are also UMSOM faculty members.
Learn more about the Children's Heart Program at umm.edu/CHP.