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The Catalyst

Three Children’s Hospital specialties ranked

By Ashley Barker
Public Relations

The pediatric nephrology program at the MUSC Children’s Hospital earned its first top-50 performance in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

The nephrology program (No. 31) joins cardiology and heart surgery (No. 21) and gastroenterology and GI surgery (No. 39) on the list, which was released June 11.

Demarco Brayboy, 7, jokes around as Dr. David Sas, Department of Pediatrics, tries to examine him, June 13. Demarco has end-stage renal disease and needs a kidney transplant. The MUSC Children’s Hospital nephrology program is ranked 31st in the U.S. News & World Report.
Demarco Brayboy, 7, jokes around as Dr. David Sas, Department of Pediatrics, tries to examine him, June 13. Demarco has end-stage renal disease and needs a kidney transplant. The MUSC Children’s Hospital nephrology program is ranked 31st in the U.S. News & World Report.

“These rankings identify these programs as extremely high-quality programs,” said Rita M. Ryan, M.D., chair of pediatrics at MUSC. “Our pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery program has been a top-tier program for years and remains the only pediatric cardiac surgery program in the state, with important partnership from all of the other tertiary pediatric cardiac programs in the state, which combine as the Children’s Heart Program of South Carolina.”

More outreach clinics for pediatric cardiology are being planned in Beaufort and Georgetown by July. To improve the program even more, the Children’s Hospital is investing in creating two additional beds in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit soon, increasing the PCICU capacity to 14 patients.

The GI program jumped 10 spots since last year’s rankings thanks to new experts in inflammatory bowel disease.

“The GI program got a huge boost with the addition of two new faculty, Dr. Christine Carter-Kent, from the Cleveland Clinic, and the new division chief, Dr. Antonio Quiros, from San Francisco, who brings super-specialized endoscopy skills to the program,” Ryan said.

The new entry for this year’s ranking, the pediatric nephrology, or kidney disease, program has risen under the leadership of new division chief, Ibrahim Shatat, M.D. He has special interest in hypertension and brought significant national recognition to the division by hosting the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium, a clinical research network, in Charleston earlier this year.

MUSC Children's Hospital

The nephrology program also enhanced the MUSC Children’s Hospital pediatric solid organ transplant program, which includes kidney, heart and liver transplantation. It hired new pediatric kidney transplant nephrologist Katherine Twombley, M.D., who joined the Department of Pediatrics in 2012.

“Working with the transplant department, Dr. Twombley made our pediatric transplant program one of the top programs in the country,” Shatat said. “Currently, Dr. Twobley is working on new protocols to give children with kidney failure – who previously were not candidates to receive a kidney transplant due to incompatible immunological profiles – a better chance by desensitizing them, a process that is performed in only a handful of medical centers around the country.”

Also a part of the program’s success is the establishment of the pediatric kidney stone program, which provides a comprehensive workup and management tools for children who suffer from the disease. MUSC’s David Sas, M.D., along with pediatric urology colleagues, created the program in order to identify risk factors of kidney stones and clinical interventions to prevent their recurrence.

Dr. David Sas goes over paper work with medical student Sara Hampton Ritchie.
Dr. David Sas goes over paper work with medical student Sara Hampton Ritchie.

“In the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, every member comes to work every day keeping in mind that all we do and all the accomplishments we achieve are because and for our wonderful patients,” Shatat said.

Ryan said the clinical service providers at MUSC Children’s Hospital amaze her with their superb care for the children who are admitted into the hospital.

“The hospital provides support for all of the nurses and other health care providers who work as a team to provide for the success of these programs,” she said. “The children of South Carolina are extremely fortunate to have the level of quality for these programs available so close to home. The excellence in these areas also attracts pediatric medical and surgical specialists in other areas as well.”

The USNWR 2013-2014 America's Best Children's Hospitals, the most extensive listing of its kind, includes 50 hospitals in each of 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Eighty hospitals across the country ranked in one or more specialties.

U.S. News & World Report

The full rankings and methodology are listed at usnews.com/childrenshospitals and in the “Best Hospitals 2014” guidebook.

Where are the nation's best children's hospitals? Click here to see an interactive map.

“MUSC Children’s Hospital deserves high praise for its accomplishments,” said Avery Comarow, USNWR health rankings editor. “MUSC Children’s Hospital has a reservoir of dedication and expertise that helps the sickest kids. Our goal at U.S. News is to identify and call attention to pediatric centers like this one.”

This year, U.S. News surveyed 178 pediatric centers to obtain hard data such as availability of key resources and ability to prevent complications and infections.

The hospital survey made up 75 percent of the rankings. A separate reputational survey, in which 1,500 pediatric specialists — 150 in each specialty — were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty, made up the remaining 25 percent. 

June 13, 2013

 
 
 

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