MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital is top-ranked children's hospital in state

June 16, 2020
E.J. Wright
E.J. Wright was born with a rare heart defect. The pediatric cardiology team has been taking care of him for his entire life. Photo by Brennan Wesley

In what has been a memorable year on many fronts for MUSC Children’s Health, new rankings from U.S. News & World Report place the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in the No. 1 position for the state. The rankings come just four months after the hospital opened, and as South Carolina deals with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Four specialty programs within the hospital have been singled out by U.S. News & World Report for national recognition: cardiology and heart surgerynephrology (kidney), gastroenterology and gastrointestinal (GI) surgery and cancer. 

View of MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women's Pavilion 
The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital opened Feb. 22. Photo by Brennan Wesley

U.S. News & World Report issues the annual rankings “to help families with complex and rare conditions find the best medical care for their children,” according to the publication’s website. They’re designed to steer children and their parents to the hospitals that are best equipped to treat them.

The cardiology program maintains its spot among the top 10 children’s heart programs in the United States. Criteria include children’s survival rate after complex heart surgery, along with the level of specialized staff, services and technologies and the ability to prevent infections. 

Eric Graham, M.D., serves as chief of the cardiology program. He credits his team’s history of exceptional clinical outcomes and innovative research for its No. 10 ranking. “To achieve this level of sustained success requires an incredible team. Our nurses, physicians, advanced practice providers, therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, perfusionists, sonographers, environmental services, administrators and admins are all critical to our mission,” Graham said.

Dr. Eric M. Graham 
Dr. Eric Graham

“Our team members are brilliant, talented, hardworking, kind, and most importantly, 110% committed to our patients, one another and our program. Everyone appreciates how the contributions of each team member contributes to our program’s overall success. This creates an amazing culture where anything is possible.”

The nephrology program at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital ranks No. 30 in the U.S. That means it excels when it comes to the survival rate of children who have kidney transplants, the management of dialysis and infection prevention and other factors. It maintains its status as the highest ranked children’s kidney program in South Carolina.

The GI and GI surgery program is no stranger to the U.S. News rankings, either. For the 13th year in a row, it made the grade, coming in at No. 43. The rankings factor in the survival rate for children who have liver transplants, the effectiveness of the hospital’s treatment of children who have inflammatory bowel issues and other key measures. Like all of the rankings, the GI rankings also include input from specialists in the field who responded to U.S. News surveys and recommend the hospital for serious cases in GI care.

Finally, the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital’s cancer program at ranks No. 44 on the list of "Best Children’s Hospitals for Cancer." That’s based in part on the five-year survival rate for children with for leukemia-related cancer, bone marrow transplant services, programs for brain tumors and sarcomas and infection prevention.

All of the ranked programs now have more space for their young patients thanks to the new children’s hospital, which has 20% more licensed beds than the old one. Entire floors are dedicated to heart and cancer care.

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