Valley Children's Ranked One of the Nation's Best Children's Hospitals in Five Specialties

(Madera, California) – For the fourth consecutive year, Valley Children’s is recognized as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, nationally ranked in five pediatric specialties. U.S. News & World Report released its “2019-2020 Best Children’s Hospitals” list today. Valley Children’s ranked in Pediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology, Pediatric Gastroenterology & Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery, Neonatology, Pediatric Orthopedics and Urology. This is the highest number of rankings Valley Children’s has ever received.

“These rankings are a testament to the highly specialized care that Valley Children’s provides in an environment designed just for kids, delivered by physicians and staff who have devoted their lives to getting and keeping kids well,” says Valley Children’s Healthcare President and CEO Todd Suntrapak. “It takes a special group of people that can listen to a child when they’re afraid and ease that burden for them. In addition to the incredible skill of this team, their hearts are the differentiator. I am so proud to work alongside them each and every day.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospital rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. They are the only comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric centers. The 13th annual rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. pediatric facilities.

“The Best Children's Hospitals rankings were designed to help provide families seeking the best medical care for their sick child with access to the most comprehensive data available,” said Ben Harder, Managing Editor and Chief of Health Analysis at U.S. News. “The rankings, coupled with guidance from pediatricians, help families make better-informed decisions about where to find high-quality, compassionate care for their children when they need it most.”

Learn More About Our Ranked Specialties

Valley Children’s Hospital has the only regional Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – the highest level NICU possible – in Central California. The 88-bed NICU is a specially designed nursery that offers the most advanced, 24/7 care and monitoring for fragile infants. Under the leadership of Chief of Newborn Medicine Dr. Jeffrey Pietz and Valley Children’s Hospital NICU Medical Director Dr. Mario Rojas, our onsite, board-certified, experienced neonatal specialists cover the full range of pediatric medicine and coordinate with nurses and other staff specially trained in the unique needs of infants. Valley Children’s also provides Level II and Level III neonatal intensive care for newborns and infants at partner hospitals in Fresno, Merced and Hanford.

Valley Children’s pediatric orthopaedic surgery practice, led by Medical Director Dr. Joseph Gerardi, performs more than 2,200 surgeries and see 32,000 visits annually. From infants to young adults, the multi-disciplinary team delivers outstanding care to children facing everything from fractures to congenital deformities to neuromuscular diseases. Our orthopaedic surgeons use the most innovative procedures to treat the most complex spinal deformity conditions and were the first to perform VEPTR and MAGEC procedures in Central California. Valley Children’s is also the first hospital in the region to use the EOS imaging system, innovative technology that provides full-body 3D images while exposing children to significantly less radiation than traditional X-rays.

The endocrinology team, under the direction of Medical Director Dr. Nedim Çakan, serves approximately 10,000 patient visits a year and more than 1,500 patients with diabetes. The practice, comprised of certified diabetes educators, registered endocrinology nurses, social workers, board certified clinical psychologists and registered dietitians treats conditions including short stature, early or late puberty and pituitary tumors. The Pediatric Diabetes Care Center at Valley Children’s is recognized by the American Diabetes Association and has one of the biggest educator groups in the nation. The endocrinology practice is involved in ongoing research for diabetes and other rare endocrine disorders such as early puberty and thyroid disorders in newborns.

Dr. Marvin Ament, a world-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist considered by many to be one of the founders of the specialty, developed Valley Children’s gastroenterology team into the leading experts in this field. The pediatric gastroenterologists at Valley Children’s use state-of-the-art technology to treat complex and common gastrointestinal and nutrition disorders, training other pediatric specialists on procedures like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (or ERCP), a minimally invasive procedure that repairs complex digestive problems without subjecting a child to major surgery. Valley Children’s pediatric surgery team, led by Medical Director Dr. Michael Allshouse, works with the gastroenterology department on complex cases that require surgical intervention. Of the 3,500 general surgeries they performed last year, more than 1,700 were for digestive system disorders.

With unparalleled expertise, the urology department at Valley Children’s provides the most comprehensive diagnostic services and management of complex genital and urological conditions and disorders conducting about 7,800 outpatient visits a year. Led by Medical Director Dr. Esequiel Rodriguez Jr., our board-certified pediatric urologists oversee focused programs for kidney and bladder complications, laparoscopic procedures and disorders of sex development to provide the most innovative and minimally invasive interventions for infants, children and young adults. As a designated California Children’s Services Center, we have the most advanced capabilities to provide a full spectrum of care and collaborate with multiple specialties.

A Testament to Quality Care

“The rankings give us a measure of how we’re doing, compared to the best children’s hospitals in the country. But they aren’t what drive us.” says Dr. David Christensen, Valley Children’s senior vice president, medical affairs and chief physician executive. “Here at Valley Children’s, we work hard every day to ensure our patients and families receive the best care to keep them healthy. These rankings are testament to the innovations, accomplishments and quality care we are proud to provide very single day.”

Adds Mr. Suntrapak: “The real rewards come with every child we heal, every life we save and every family that walks out - together - through the doors of our hospital.”

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices. This year’s rankings will be published in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2020” guidebook (ISBN 9781931469937), available in stores mid-September.