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U.S. News & World Report: Sarasota Memorial Named Best in North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Region

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The public, not-for-profit hospital serves as an example of how people may find superior quality & care close to home in their own community.

SARASOTA (July 19, 2011) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital has been ranked #1 in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area by U.S. News Media & World Report, according to the publication’s 2011-2012 “Best Hospitals” guide released today.

Authoritative and influential, U.S.News’ annual “Best Hospitals” study reviews quality indicators, including death and complication rates, at nearly 5,000 hospitals each year. The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area.

This year, Sarasota Memorial ranked #1 in the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota metro area, as well as among the nation’s top quartile of highest performing hospitals in the following seven specialties:

  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Gynecology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

“It takes incredible dedication and diligence by every member of the health care team, every day, to provide safe, high quality care to hospitalized patients,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. “As the region’s only public hospital, our doctors, nurses, researchers and staff are committed to setting the benchmark for care in our community … and our continued recognition by U.S.News is a testament to that commitment.”

The Best Hospitals guide is intended to help direct patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.

“These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high.”

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions. The regional rankings are aimed primarily at consumers whose care may not demand the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospital or who may not be willing or able to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their community and in their health insurance network.

“These are hospitals we call ‘high performers.’ They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures,” Comarow said. “Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals.”

Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties—death rates, patient safety, procedure volume, and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.

The 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings are available online at

About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 700,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care walk-in clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. For information, visit:

The US News rankings follow a consistent round of national rankings Sarasota Memorial received in 2011 from the independent health care ratings organization HealthGrades. Awards received in 2011 to date include:

  • America’s 50 Best Hospitals recognizing the top 1% of all hospitals in the nation for overall clinical excellence for five years in a row, 2007-11 (only hospital in the Suncoast region – Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties – ever to make list)
  • Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence recognizing top 5% of all hospitals in the nation for clinical excellence for nine years in a row, 2003-2011
  • Patient Safety Excellence Award™– top 5% for excellence in patient safety eight years in a row, 2004-11
  • Excellence in Gastrointestinal Care & Gastrointestinal Surgery–2011
  • Excellence in Maternity Care – 2011
  • Excellence in Pulmonary Care – 2011
  • Excellence in Critical Care – 2011
  • Excellence in Women’s Health Excellence – 2011
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