UF Shands Cancer Center rises in national rankings

Shands at the University of Florida is once again among the top 50 hospitals for cancer care in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2010-11 edition of America’s Best Hospitals.

Shands Cancer Hospital

Shands at UF surged from 45th to 29th in the rankings, a standing that validates the UF Shands Cancer Center’s efforts to improve patient care and forge innovative research projects.

“The University of Florida Shands Cancer Center is strong and getting stronger,” said Robert Amdur, M.D., a professor and residency program director in the College of Medicine department of radiation oncology. “We expect progress in all areas of cancer care and research with the new hospital and resources we are devoting to treating this disease in our community.”

U.S. News evaluated nearly 5,000 hospitals to rank the best in 16 adult specialties from cancer to urology. Death rates, patient safety data, and reputation went into the 2010-11 rankings. For cancer care, the report evaluated 894 hospitals nationally, listing only those that treated at least 270 inpatients each year with a high level of expertise from 2006 to 2008.

During the past two years, UF forged a partnership with the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa to enhance its clinical and research endeavors, Shands HealthCare built a cancer hospital and 14 leading medical oncologists joined the College of Medicine faculty.

“I think all of these things coalesced to create a lot of enthusiasm about our institution and catapulted us in the rankings,” said Paul Okunieff, M.D., director of the UF Shands Cancer Center. “This is good news for us. Now, we have to go up.”

Shands at UF consistently earns a spot among America’s Best Hospitals. The rankings consider the reputation of each hospital, death rate and a set of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. Hospitals are scrutinized thoroughly before being ranked and considered a Best Hospital.

This year, 4,852 hospitals were evaluated. Only 152 performed well enough to be ranked in any specialty.

For the third consecutive year, Shands at UF was also the state’s highest-ranked hospital in urology. The program climbed from No. 35 to No. 25.

“Achieving status as a Top 25 program is a testament to the quality of our faculty and the commitment of our institutional leadership,” said Johannes Vieweg, M.D., chairman of the College of Medicine department of urology and a UF Shands Cancer Center member.

Achievements in brain cancer treatment also were recognized through the neurological/neurosurgical departments’ 39th-place designation.

“The neuromedicine programs at the University of Florida, including the departments of neurosurgery and neurology, are proud of our recognition in this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey,” said William Friedman, M.D., chairman of the department of neurosurgery and a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center. “The recognition reflects our dedication to high-quality patient care, world-class research and education programs.”

— Shayna Brouker

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Fall 2010

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