Once again, U.S. News & World Report has ranked MUSC as the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina in its Best Hospitals Rankings and Ratings. This marks the fourth year in a row. Five specialties at MUSC Health got high marks as well. That’s no small feat when you consider that the rankings and ratings include about 4,500 medical centers across the country.
Ear, nose and throat team
Paul Lambert, M.D., director of the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at MUSC Health, is pleased to learn his program is ranked the 12th best ear, nose and throat program in the United States. “We’re proud to be listed among the elite programs. It has been a relentless climb from relative obscurity 20 years ago. Our first ranking was at No. 35 in 2009. For perspective, our department dates from 1961.”
The otolaryngology team treats people suffering from allergies, sinus disease, swallowing problems and voice disorders. Its doctors also do ear and thyroid surgery, treat head and neck cancer, and offer cosmetic dentistry and facial plastic surgery.
Lambert says the U.S. News & World Report ranking is a testament to the fact that his team’s faculty members have established themselves as national leaders in ear, nose and throat research and treatment. “As a group, we have recruited wisely, mentored consistently, promoted aggressively, and retained faculty. That has clearly been a winning formula for us.”
The gynecology program at MUSC Women’s Health continues its strong showing in U.S News & World Report rankings as well, coming in at No. 18. Gynecologist David Soper leads that program. “To be considered a top 20 program out of nearly 5,000 medical centers nationally speaks to the commitment our team has to caring for patients and ensuring their safety,” Soper says.
“This begins with patient scheduling, continues with nursing care and education and ends with optimal treatment by both nurse and physician providers. Our continued engagement in medical education and research allows a commitment to cutting-edge therapies and technologies which support excellent outcomes.”
He says the program emphasizes making sure each patient is matched with the best doctor for her needs.
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center finds itself in elite company, too, ranking 24th among the top cancer centers in the country. David Mahvi, M.D., chief of the Oncology Integrated Center for Comprehensive Excellence at Hollings, said the rankings take into consideration the types of patients treated, the quality of care and the programs offered.
“In all these categories, we score exceptionally high. We treat the most complex patients, our survival outcomes are outstanding and we offer programs that are important not only to the physical health of our patients, but their needs overall as they navigate their treatment.”
Hollings Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, which means the federal government sees it as an important site of scientific leadership, resources and research. In recent years, Hollings has ramped up its focus on patients’ needs beyond cancer treatment, connecting patients with financial, palliative care and psychiatric consultations as needed.
“I think our providers and support staff at Hollings Cancer Center deserve recognition for the tireless work they do for our patients,” Mahvi says. “Cancer is a devastating word for patients to hear every time they come to Hollings. What they find when they walk in the door, though, is a group of people who are only there to make their lives better.”
The booming MUSC Health Orthopedics team ranks 37th in the U.S. News & World Report list of best orthopedic programs. It has undergone a huge expansion in recent years, says Vincent Pellegrini, M.D., who leads the program as chairman of the department.
“We have every single one of the subspecialties in orthopedics covered with at least 2 faculty,” Pellegrini says. "The renewed emphasis on education, discovery and innovation is what separates MUSC orthopedics from other programs and attracts national recognition to our faculty."
The orthopedics team treats everything from spine, foot, ankle, hand and wrist problems to bone cancer. Its doctors stay busy, Pellegrini says, and that’s the way they like it. “We have increased our practice by more than double in the last 5 years. We offer all of our patients an appointment within 48 hours of when they call.”
The MUSC Health Nephrology team, which treats kidney disease, is highly ranked as well, coming in at No. 46. Joshua Lipschutz, M.D, directs the Division of Nephrology. He says the ranking is in part a reflection of the respect his team members have for each other and their patients. “It’s really a cohesive group.”
That group’s work, in conjunction with the transplant surgery team, has made MUSC Health the tenth largest kidney transplant center in the country, Lipschutz says. “We do almost 300 kidney transplants a year.”
The nephrology division was also a test center for a pivotal study on a treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, which affects 500,000 Americans. “It’s the first-ever treatment for the fourth most common cause of kidney failure and the most common potentially lethal genetic disease. We’re up and ready to prescribe it.”