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Respiratory and digestive programs ranked among best in nation
Akron General earns honors

Cleveland Clinic ranks highly in 12 specialties

By Cheryl Powell
Beacon Journal medical writer


Akron General Medical Center earns some bragging rights today as the city's only hospital listed among the best nationwide in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Akron General ranked 45th in respiratory disorders and digestive disorders in the listing, which is available online today at

''Quality patient care is obviously very important to Akron General's mission to the community, and we provide that in many specialties,'' said Dr. Jack Mitstifer, the hospital's president of inpatient services. ''I'm very happy to see that two of the programs were honored on a national level. It's a great honor for Akron General. I think it's great for our patients.''

Akron's other adult hospital, Summa Health System, did not make the list in any categories for the first time in 12 years.

Last year, Summa ranked 45th in orthopedics.

''We haven't seen the methodology from U.S. News,'' Summa spokeswoman Anne Merchant said. ''Once we do, we will evaluate it, and that will better help us understand our ranking and the scores.''

Once again, the Cleveland Clinic fared extremely well in U.S. News' annual hospital ranking. The Cleveland-based health-care giant was named the fourth-best overall hospital in the nation and the best hospital for heart care for the 15th consecutive year.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland also made this year's list in six categories.

The report, now in its 20th year, ranks hospitals in 16 specialties.

Hospitals often tout their inclusion on the prestigious list in ads, billboards and other marketing initiatives.

Researchers considered reputation among doctors, death rates from Medicare data and other care-related factors, such as technology, volume and nurse staffing for most categories.


More than 1,850 hospitals were graded as part of the news magazine's annual ranking. Only 174 were listed in at least one category.

To be considered, facilities had to be teaching hospitals, have at least 200 beds or have key technologies and perform a minimum number of procedures in the area being reviewed.


Pediatric hospitals were evaluated in a previous report that also is available online.

This year, the Cleveland Clinic ranked among the top 10 hospitals in 12 specialties, including a No. 1 ranking in heart care and No. 2 rankings in digestive disorders, urology and rheumatology (connective-tissue disorders).

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore topped this year's list as the country's best overall hospital, followed by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The hospital rankings and accompanying stories are in the August edition of U.S. News & World Report, which will be available on newsstands Tuesday.


Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or



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