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U.S. News & World Report: Sarasota Memorial named among America's "Best Hospital's" - 6th year in a row.

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U.S. News BadgeSARASOTA – (July 16 2009) – For the sixth consecutive year, Sarasota Memorial Hospital has been ranked among the nation’s top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It remains the only hospital in Southwest Florida consistently recognized on U.S.News’ annual “Best Hospitals” list.

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, then ranks the 50 best in 16 specialties. Only 174 – less than 5 percent – made the grade in 2009.

This year, Sarasota Memorial ranked #37 for geriatric care care – a highly specialized, multi-disciplinary field of medicine dedicated to treating the complex conditions of aging and preserving the quality of life of the nation's fast-growing elderly population. The hospital rose several spots, from #43 last year.

“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 driven by our mission to set the benchmark for care in our community … and our continued recognition by U.S.News is a testament to that commitment.”

Most hospitals that make it on U.S.News Best Hospitals list are teaching hospitals and major academic medical centers accustomed to seeing the toughest patients and conducting bench-to-bedside research that advances the state-of-the-art care.

"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor for U.S.News. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."

The 16 ranked specialties are cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.

The rankings combine three equally weighted factors: reputation, mortality rate and a set of care-related indicators that include quality of nursing care, nurse-to-patient ratios and advanced technology and treatments.

Although the reputation factor makes it a challenge for a community hospital like Sarasota Memorial to make it on the list, Sarasota Memorial has been recognized consistently since 2004 for clinical excellence in multiple specialties, including heart care & heart surgery, cancer care, orthopedics, gynecology, urology, respiratory, and ear, nose & throat care.

The report is accessible today online at and on sale at newsstands Tuesday, July 21.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Founded in 1925, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional medical center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services. It is the only health care provider in the region ranked among U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals,” recognized among “America’s Safest Hospitals” by and awarded Magnet designation – the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence awarded by the American Nurses Credential Center.

Date Published: July 16, 2009

Media Contact: Kim Savage
Phone: (941) 917-6271

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