By Allison Perry
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2020) – For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital at UK HealthCare has been named the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and the Bluegrass Region by the 2020-2021 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings from U.S. News & World Report.
For the fourth straight year, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has earned a top 50 national ranking for cancer care, this year climbing to No. 29.
Additionally, five adult specialties at UK HealthCare were ranked as high-performing: Gastroenterology and GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, Orthopedics and Urology. Seven common adult procedures and conditions also received a high-performing designation: Aortic Valve Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Colon Cancer Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Hip Replacement and Lung Cancer Surgery.
“This has been a challenging year, to put it mildly. But in these times, it’s more important than ever that Kentuckians with complex health problems have a medical center they can come to for best treatment options possible,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “To have received this honor now for the fifth consecutive year shows that not only is UK HealthCare the best in Kentucky, we are the best for Kentucky.”
While the UK Markey Cancer Center has been designated as “high performing” for many years prior to cracking the top 50, this year’s ranking of No. 29 in cancer care is the highest to date. In addition to its recognitions from U.S. News & World Report, Markey has been a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center since 2013, the only one in Kentucky and one of just 71 in the country.
“With Kentucky still holding the unfortunate ranking of being No. 1 in overall cancer incidence and mortality, nowhere in the country is it more important for patients to have access to the best possible cancer care,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “But we at Markey seeing positive changes on that front. We are treating and saving more patients than ever before. This latest ranking is further evidence of how we are making progress toward our goal of conquering cancer in the Commonwealth.”
The annual Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 31st year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures.
“At UK HealthCare, we stand ready to help with any medical situation or illness, regardless of its complexity,” said Colleen H. Swartz, vice president for operations at UK HealthCare. “If you live in Kentucky, there is a good chance you or a loved one will need UK HealthCare at some point in time, whether it’s for cancer treatment, trauma, premature babies or any number of medical problems. We take that responsibility very seriously.”
For the 2020-21 rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties, 10 procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 134 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized best regional hospitals based on high performing rankings across multiple areas of care.
The U.S. News Best Hospitals methodologies in most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and discharge-to-home rates, volume, and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for” two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers.” We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.