50 Best Hospitals in America

Becker's Hospital Review has named the 50 best hospitals in America, which cover a wide spectrum from well-known academic medical centers to less widely recognized community hospitals that have reached greatness. Each of these organizations has put patients' needs first, driven a variety of innovations and helped to set the bar for high-quality care. Each hospital has an impressive list of achievements and a story to tell. Here are the hospitals, in alphabetical order.

Editor's note: This list focuses on acute-care, multi-specialty academic medical centers and large community hospitals. This list does not focus on specialty hospitals or smaller community hospitals. To view lists recognizing these hospitals, please look in upcoming issues for our lists of 100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare (appearing in the May/June issue), 50 of the Best Specialty Hospitals, 30 of the Best Community Hospitals, 20 Hospitals With Great Orthopedic Programs, 20 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs and more.

This list is sponsored by Cejka Search and MED3000 .

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (Chicago)

Illinois Masonic derives its name from Illinois Masonic Hospital Association, which purchased the former Union Hospital in 1921 after raising funds for an ambitious expansion campaign. The 408-licensed bed teaching hospital is now part of Oakbrook, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care. The hospital has more than 880 active physicians representing more than 40 specialties and is one of four Level I Trauma Centers in Chicago. Advocate Health Care has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services and recently entered talks with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston about a partnership.

Akron (Ohio) General Hospital

Vincent McCorkle, the new president and CEO of the hospital's parent, Akron General Health System, is fond of saying, "culture eats strategy." Rather than mandating changes, he prefers a participatory process, where everyone has a role. In a hotly contested market, not that far from heavy hitters like the Cleveland Clinic, 511-bed Akron General has had to stay nimble. The health system, which includes a community hospital and Partners Physician Group, posted a 1.4 percent positive margin on operating revenue of $553.4 million in 2009, after losing money in 2008. Arriving in July 2010, Mr. McCorkle hired back Alan Papa, a former Akron General executive, as president of the medical center and continued physician recruitment by acquiring a five-cardiologist group.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis)

This huge institution, the largest private employer in the St. Louis area, was formed by the 1996 merger of Barnes Hospital, founded in 1914, and the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, founded in 1902. With 1,258 beds, it is the largest in Missouri. It is the teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine. Barnes-Jewish is part of BJC Health System, which has an Aa2 bond rating with Moody's Investor Services. The old Barnes Hospital was one of the first to treat diabetic patients with insulin and the first to install an electronic data processing system in a hospital.

Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich.)

In Oct. 2010, the hospital opened a new cardiovascular center, which is offering "7 tests for $70," screenings for people at risk of heart disease. This 1,061-bed hospital, the flagship of three-hospital Beaumont Hospitals, operates highly regarded interventional cardiology and community clinical oncology programs. It is a leading center for treating liver disease, hepatitis, ulcers and related disorders and for conducting research in incontinence and interstitial cystitis. The inaugural class of the new Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine will begin instruction in Aug. 2011.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)

The Brigham, as it is affectionately called, is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and cofounder, with Massachusetts General Hospital, of Partners HealthCare, which has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services. Its Boston Hospital for Women, with 750 beds, is a leader in women's health services. It is a top recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health with an annual research budget of more than $537 million. In addition to other awards, it won the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award in 2009.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and Cedars-Sinai Health Associates was one of the top 10 physician groups in Southern California listed by Integrated Health Care Associates. The hospital has 10,000 employees and more than 2,000 physicians in almost every specialty. More than 350 residents and fellows participate in more than 60 programs. Last year, Cedars-Sinai opened a 30-bed inpatient unit to provide advanced heart failure patients using an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach.

Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield, Ill.)

The hospital, located in the growing western suburbs of Chicago, boasts the second busiest surgical center in the state. Opening in 1964 with 113 beds, it now has 361 beds. It operates a physicians group with more than 50 physicians at 17 locations at last count. In Dec. 2010, the hospital signed a definitive agreement to merge with 159-bed Delnor Health System in nearby Geneva, Ill., pending regulatory review. Previously, Central DuPage signed an affiliation agreement with Cleveland Clinic's cardiac surgery program to improve heart care and refer complex cases to Cleveland Clinic.

The Christ Hospital (Cincinnati, Ohio)

With a staff of more than 1,000 physicians, this 555-bed hospital boasts major services lines in cardiovascular care, spine treatment, women’s health, major surgery, cancer, behavioral medicine, orthopedics, emergency care and kidney transplants. The Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research and Education at The Christ Hospital has participated in more than 1,000 clinical research trials, including 130 active trials. Among other distinctions, the hospital was the 2010 Top Workplace in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by Cincinnati.com.   

Christiana Care Health System (Wilmington, Del.)

Christiana Care is a teaching hospital with two campuses, more than 1,100 beds and more than 240 residents and fellows. The system has launched two health IT initiatives on meaningful use standards, utilizing its computerized provider order entry system and the nation's first statewide health information network. It has an Aa3 bond rating with Moody's Investor Services. In addition to other recognitions, Christiana Care received a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 2009 and the Ernest A. Codman Award from the Joint Commission in 2007.

Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland)

The Cleveland Clinic is always on the move. In recent months, it signed an affiliation agreement with Central DuPage Hospital, announced it would help a group of physicians in the Washington, D.C., area turn their ideas into marketable inventions, began planning a Medical Mart in Cleveland and completed a $163 million expansion of its Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, ahead of schedule and under budget. This year, the clinic plans to launch the Center for Personalized Healthcare, which will create tools to help physicians develop care plans based on the individual characteristics of each patient.

Duke University Medical Center (Durham, N.C.)

With 924 licensed beds, this academic medical center has more than 10,000 full-time employees, of which about 15 percent have a medical or doctoral degree, or both. It is part of three-hospital Duke University Health System, which has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services. In Dec. 2010, the hospital began an $800 million expansion project, including a cancer center and a new hospital tower adding 20 percent more beds. Recently Duke initiated a community care model to reduce unnecessary ED visits in partnership with a local federally qualified health center.

Evanston (Ill.) Hospital

Evanston Hospital is the flagship of four-hospital NorthShore University HealthSystem, which has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services and annual revenue of more than $1.5 billion. With 775 beds and a staff of nearly 9,000, the hospital boasts a cancer center, cardiovascular care center and medical genetics program. "We stress the fact that we are a system of care, not just one place of care," said NorthShore President & CEO Mark R. Neaman. NorthShore was an early adopter of electronic medical records in 2003. Formerly known as Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, the system changed its name when it switched affiliation from Northwestern University to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. One of NorthShore Medical Group's most recent acquisitions is 12-physician North Shore Cardiologists.

Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center

The medical center campus boasts one of the largest ambulatory facilities in the country, housed in a nine-story, 276,000-square-foot tower. This 775-bed teaching and research hospital is affiliated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. It is the largest healthcare provider in the state, both in inpatient and outpatient services. In Jan. 2011, it opened a $130 million cancer center and a $25 million cardiac and vascular "hospital within a hospital." It also formed an affiliation with 111-bed Hackettstown (N.J.) Regional Medical Center to provide expertise there and send Hackettstown's more complex medical cases to Hackensack.

Hamot Medical Center (Erie, Pa.)

In Jan. 2011, the board of Hamot Health Foundation, the hospital's parent, voted to integrate into the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. As part of the deal, UPMC has agreed to give Hamot $300 million to support expansion and improvements of medical services. The hospital has 417 physicians on staff, 3,159 employees and 375 beds. In addition to other awards, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association honored Hamot with their "Get With The Guidelines" Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield named it a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care, bariatric surgery and knee and hip replacement.

Henrico Doctors' Hospital (Richmond, Va.)

This 340-bed hospital, part of the HCA Virginia Health System, derives its name from Henricus, an early settlement massacred by Powhatan Indians in 1622, then rebuilt nearby as Virginia's new capital. The hospital was called Henrico Doctors' Hospital-Forest until Feb. 2009, when the name was simplified. The opening of a cardiac medical intensive care unit and a new ED in Jan. 2011 is the latest phase of its five-year, $100 million renovation. An intra-operative MRI suite opened in April 2010 and the hospital will open a new lobby, a pre-admission testing area, a laboratory and a satellite pharmacy in fall 2011. The hospital was the first in central Virginia to receive patient data via WiFi. Among many distinctions, the hospital received the outstanding achievement award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, an award given to less than 20 percent of all cancer centers.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

The hospital recently announced plans to begin a hand transplant program limited to people who have lost both hands. It is the flagship of Penn Medicine, which includes University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, two other large hospitals, primary care and specialty groups, and affiliations with 11 community hospitals. Penn Medicine has nearly 2,100 physicians on staff (including more than 1,800 full-time faculty), more than 1,000 residents and fellows and 18,000 employees. In addition to other recognitions, the hospital won the 2010 Delaware Valley Patient Safety Award.

Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, Va.)

With 833 beds, Inova Fairfax Hospital is the largest hospital in Northern Virginia and the biggest hospital in greater Washington D.C., based on revenue. It is part of Inova Health System, which has had an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services. Inova is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University to create VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus. In Dec. 2010, the system announced plans to add up to 250 primary care physicians to its medical group, more than doubling its size. In addition to other distinctions, it received a three-star cardiac ranking by the Society for Thoracic Surgeons.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center (Neptune, N.J.)

This institution started in 1904 as a 50-bed convalescent home for women and children. It is now a 502-bed academic medical center affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Jersey Shore is part of Meridian Health, a five-hospital system that completed a merger with Bayshore Community Hospital and Health Services in Holmdel, N.J., in Sept. 2010. A $300 million expansion project at the medical center, completed in 2009, added 136 beds, a new ED and trauma center, surgical suites and an expanded outpatient pavilion. The medical center has been a winner of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety from the National Quality Forum.

Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)

The 1,053-bed hospital is in the middle of a $994 million redevelopment, scheduled to open in 2012, that will feature 560 private rooms, 33 new ORs and two new large EDs. It is part of Johns Hopkins Health System, which grew from two to six hospitals in just three years. "We did not go out searching for hospitals," said Edward D. Miller, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, who oversees the system. These hospitals sought out Johns Hopkins. The system's flagship has a venerable history, having practically invented the concept of the teaching hospital and coining such terms as "residents," "rounds" and "house staff."

Lehigh Valley Hospital (Allentown, Pa.)

Part of two-hospital Lehigh Valley Health Network, this 732-bed hospital is a partner with the University of South Florida in providing an innovative medical education program to train tomorrow’s physicians and has 1,100 physicians on staff, including 500 employed by the health network. In addition to other recognitions, the hospital won the 2010 Quality Leadership Award from the University HealthSystem Consortium. It operates the third largest heart surgery program and the sixth largest cancer program in the state.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)

The third-oldest hospital in the nation, Mass General is celebrating its bicentennial this year. This summer it will open a $579 million, 10-story addition that will increase its bed count by almost 20 percent while adding 19 ORs and a new ED. It is a founding partner of Partners Healthcare System, which has an Aa2 bond rating with Moody's Investor Services. The major teaching hospital of Harvard University, Mass General has one of the largest hospital-based research budgets in the world. It is the largest non-governmental employer in Boston, with more than 10,000 employees.

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)

Mayo Clinic is often thought of as a large multispecialty practice but it runs a substantial inpatient operation, using 1,265-bed Saint Marys Hospital and 794-bed Rochester Methodist Hospital. Mayo Foundation has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services. In addition to other awards, it won the Quality Leadership Award from the University HealthSystem Consortium in 2010 and the American College of Surgeons recognized Mayo for exemplary outcomes in 2009. Recently, Mayo formed a research alliance with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and indicated an interest in partnering with providers in the Chicago area.

Munson Medical Center (Traverse City, Mich.)

Positioned near the gateway to the isolated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Munson's service area stretches into 32 Michigan counties and it has nearly 400 physicians on staff. The medical center delivered a shocker in Sept. 2010, when it pulled out of a planned merger with Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich. New suitors, such as University of Michigan Health Systems, emerged immediately. The 391-bed hospital is a real prize, having won the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize in 2008 and having been the only hospital in the state to win the Everest Award from Thomson Reuters in 2009.

New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell (New York City)

This huge hospital is made up of two institutions: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. It is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. Two of its physician-scientists, Mehmet Oz, MD, and Nicholas Schiff, MD, ranked in Time Magazine's annual list of the top 100 most influential people in the world.

Northeast Regional Medical Center (Kirksville, Mo.)

Northeast Regional, part of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, is closely affiliated with Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the birthplace of osteopathy, where osteopathic-founder Andrew Taylor Still's original office is on display. With 115 beds, it has with more than 130 physicians on staff in 26 specialties and subspecialties, and 123 full-time registered nurses. It logs 4,243 admissions, 1,390 inpatient surgeries and 77,764 outpatient visits a year. Among its distinctions, Northeast Regional is the only Missouri hospital to be named an Everest winner by Thomson Reuters and won the Quality Respiratory Care Recognition award in 2010.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago)

A new 897-bed facility for Northwestern Memorial opened in 1999, located in two towers in Chicago's posh Streeterville neighborhood. Northwestern Memorial has a medical staff of more than 1,500 physicians who are faculty at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The hospital has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services. Northwestern's parent, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, opened the $500 million Prentice Women's Hospital near Northwestern Memorial in 2007. In 2010 NMH acquired 215-bed Lake Forest (Ill.) Hospital and outpatient center in Grayslake, Ill.

Ochsner Medical Center (New Orleans)

With 473 beds, the medical center is the offspring of the fabled Ochsner Clinic, founded by surgeon Alton Ochsner in the 1942. It is the flagship of Ochsner Health System, which owns eight hospitals after purchasing 165-bed NorthShore Regional Medical Center in Slidell, La., in April 2010. To reduce crowding, the medical center's ED created a protocol called QTrack separating out the sickest patients and speeding up care for the others. Ochsner is one of the largest non-university based physician training centers in the nation, with more than 200 medical residents and more than 300 medical residents from affiliated programs. Among many distinctions, it won the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award and Kidney Transplant Excellence Award from HealthGrades in 2010.

Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus, Ohio)

This 900-bed academic medical center is on a growth track. It won a $100 million federal construction grant in Dec. 2010 to add advanced radiation therapy for its new cancer center, boosting the budget for its planned expansion to $1.1 billion. A $649 million, 420-bed critical care and cancer hospital is expected to open in 2014. OSU Medical Center will spend $102 million on an electronic health record system over the next five years and its physicians and hospitals expect to win back $25 million in federal payments for meeting meaningful use standards for EHRs. The medical center's signature programs are in cancer, critical care, heart, imaging, neurosciences and transplantation. The medical center also operates Ohio State University Hospital East, which it purchased in 1999.

Poudre Valley Hospital (Fort Collins, Colo.)

This 241-bed hospital, the only one in Fort Collins, specializes in orthopedic surgery, neuroscience, cancer, bariatric weight-loss surgery, and women and family services. In 2008 its parent, two-hospital Poudre Valley Health System, which, among other distinctions, won the Baldrige Award, recognizing a handful of organizations across industries for performance excellence each year. In June 2010, the system announced it is partnering with Longmont (Colo.) United Hospital on a medical facility in Frederick, Colo. The hospital has received an American Nurses Association teaching hospital award for outstanding nursing quality three times in a row.

Presbyterian Hospital (Charlotte, N.C.)

This 531-bed hospital heads the Presbyterian Healthcare group, which operates two nearby community hospitals and is planning a third one. In turn, Presbyterian Healthcare is part of Novant Health, which operates a dozen hospitals with more than 3,000 beds. The Novant Medical Group consists of almost 1,100 physicians in 359 clinic locations seeing 3.9 million patients a year. Novant also operates outpatient surgery centers and 100 outpatient diagnostic imaging centers through its MedQuest subsidiary. Among other distinctions, Novant twice won the Ernest A. Codman Award from the Joint Commission for improving system-wide quality and safety.

Providence Hospital and Medical Center (Southfield, Mich.)

This 365-bed hospital is part of St. John Providence Health System and is home to 20,000 employees, 3,200 physicians, 175 medical offices and 10 hospitals in six counties. The system is part of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest non-profit health system in the nation. Providence Hospital has more than 3,400 staff members, 1,500 physicians and about 150 residents in 19 residency programs. After more than 100 years in Detroit, the hospital moved to the suburbs in 1965. A few years ago, it opened a sister hospital, 200-bed, patient-friendly Providence Park Hospital in a 200-acre wooded campus in Novi, Mich.

Providence Regional Medical Center (Everett, Wash.)

Providence Regional is the third-largest hospital in Washington, with two campuses. It is currently building a $500 million, 368-bed tower, which will double capacity. In 2008, the medical center decided to grow Providence Physician Group to about 100 members over the next three years. To reach this goal, it has increased physicians' involvement in decision-making, such as giving them half the membership in a committee establishing priorities for its capital plan. The 268-bed hospital runs the largest musculoskeletal program in northwest Washington. It is part of Providence Health & Services, one of the nation's largest Catholic healthcare organizations, which has been adding hospitals and physician practices and becoming more integrated. Providence Health System has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services.

Rex Hospital (Raleigh, N.C.)

Part of UNC Healthcare, Rex has 4,600 employees, more than 1,100 physicians on staff, and 665 beds and treats nearly 34,000 inpatients each year. Rex Physicians, its group of employed physicians, works closely with UNC Physicians & Associates and UNC Healthcare on managed care contracts. In July 2010, state regulators approved Rex's certificate of need application to build a $60 million cancer hospital that will open in 2014. In addition to other distinctions, it received the Five Star Performer Award from Professional Research Consultants for Best Overall Quality of Care in 2010, for the third consecutive year.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)

This 520-bed medical center was totally rebuilt to conform to the latest California seismic safety requirements and reopened in 2008. In Sept. 2010, the Integrated Healthcare Association rated the affiliated UCLA Medical Group, with more than 1,000 physicians and 72 ambulatory practice sites, as one of California's top medical groups, meaning it had one of the highest overall performance in 2009 based on statewide pay-for-performance program measures. In addition to other distinctions, the medical center won the AHA Award for Heart Failure Care in Dec. 2010.

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago)

Rush, with 676 beds, operates its own medical school and is currently building a $617 million, 14-story acute and critical care tower, which will bring its total bed count to 720 when it opens in 2012. In 2009, the hospital and its affiliated orthopedic surgery group opened a five-story, $75 million orthopedic building. Under a federal grant for medical tourism, Rush is working with University HealthSystem Consortium to identify strategies to attract more foreign residents to seek care in the United States. Among Rush's many awards, the hospital's comprehensive stroke program won the Gold Performance Achievement Award.

Saint Alexius Medical Center (Bismarck, N.D.)

Founded in a hotel in downtown Bismarck by an order of Roman Catholic nuns in 1885, Saint Alexius treated both President Teddy Roosevelt and the son of the Sioux chief Sitting Bull. Since then, the medical center has grown to serve a vast region including central and western North Dakota, northern South Dakota and eastern Montana. It has 2,379 employees, including 100 physicians and mid-level providers. In addition to its 306-bed medical center, St. Alexius owns and operates two hospitals and several primary care clinics in North Dakota and manages a hospital in South Dakota. The medical center is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Benedict of the Annunciation Monastery.

St. Cloud (Minn.) Hospital

Founded in 1886 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict, St. Cloud Hospital serves a 12-county area with a population of 671,308. The hospital is in the middle of a $225-million construction project, including a nine-floor wing featuring private rooms and new surgery suites, to be completed in 2011. Operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church, the hospital has 489 licensed beds, more than 4,300 employees and a medical staff of 412 physicians. It is part of three-hospital CentraCare Health System, which also operates almost a dozen clinics. The average length of service of nurses at the hospital is 11 years.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (Houston)

St. Luke's operates within the famed Texas Medical Center and is affiliated with prestigious Texas Heart Institute. It is the 948-bed flagship of five-hospital St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Almost two-thirds of more than 600 physicians on the hospital's active medical staff have teaching appointments at Baylor College of Medicine or the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In 2002, the system acquired the Kelsey-Seybold physician group. In Nov. 2010, it acquired 51 percent of 61-bed Patients Medical Center, a physician-owned hospital in South Pasadena, Texas. In addition to other recognitions, Modern Maturity Magazine named St. Luke's Episcopal one of the 50 Top Hospitals in the U.S.

Saint Thomas Hospital (Nashville, Tenn.)

The hospital, with 541 beds, is part of four-hospital Saint Thomas Health Services, a member of Ascension Health, a Roman Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the nation. In 2010, Saint Thomas Health Services announced plans to double the number of outpatient rehabilitation clinics it operates in the next 18 months. In 2009, it announced an expansion of its neurosciences division. The hospital has 1,800 employees and 750 physicians on staff. Among many distinctions, the hospital won the American Stroke Association’s "Get With The Guidelines" Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award in 2009.

St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital (Indianapolis)

This 747-bed quaternary-care hospital is part of St.Vincent Health, one of the largest employers in the state, with more than 11,500 employees and 2,500 physicians. In 2010, the Care Group, the largest cardiology practice in the nation, with 135 physicians, joined St. Vincent Health. The system also owns three tertiary-care hospitals, seven critical access hospitals, seven specialty hospitals, several joint-venture partners and clinical affiliates. In Nov. 2009, it acquired minority ownership in Indiana Orthopedic Hospital from OrthoIndy, a physician-owned company. St.Vincent Health has been working with orthopedic surgeons to create a management company providing orthopedic services to hospitals across Indiana.

Sanford USD Medical Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

With 545 licensed beds, the hospital is the flagship of Sanford Health, the largest employer in the Dakotas, with 30 hospitals and a network of clinics serving five states. It changed its name from Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health System in 2007 upon receiving $400 million gift from businessman T. Denny Sanford. In 2010, Sanford recruited 75 physicians, announced plans to acquire an 80-bed hospital in Minnesota, build a new clinic in North Dakota and open two new hospitals in Minnesota and North Dakota. Among other distinctions, the medical center received national recognition for hip and knee replacement excellence from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in 2010.

Spectrum Health Hospitals (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital operate as one unit, under one tax ID number. The primary care offices of Spectrum Health Medical Group have been designated patient-centered medical homes by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Spectrum Health, the hospital's parent, is the largest non-profit healthcare system in West Michigan, with nine hospitals, more than 170 service sites and 1,881 licensed beds. In Jan. 2011, Spectrum Health ranked 67th on SDI's list of the Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks. It is one of only 38 health systems in the nation with an Aa3 rating by Moody's Investors Service.


UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)

The medical center, the first in the University of California system, was founded a year after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, which exposed the lack of healthcare services for the city. Affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco, the medical center has 600 beds, 7,000 employees and outreach clinics throughout Northern California. It includes UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion and a planned 289-bed, $1.5 billion medical center in the Mission Bay district near downtown San Francisco, scheduled to open in 2014.

The University of Chicago Medical Center (Chicago)

Michelle Obama, who headed the medical center's community and external affairs department for seven years, helped found an ongoing collaborative to create medical homes for people on Chicago's South Side. The medical center has 532 beds, more than 9,500 employees, more than 700 attending physicians, nearly 900 residents and fellows and more than 1,500 nurses. University of Chicago Medical Center has an Aa3 bond rating with Moody's Investor Services. Affiliated with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, it is staffed by more than 700 physicians from the University of Chicago Physicians Group.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City)

This institution traces its roots back to 1873, when the University of Iowa's medical department signed an agreement with the Sisters of Mercy to operate a small hospital in the community. Today, it is a 762-bed institution that also includes University of Iowa Physicians, the state's largest multi-specialty medical group, with more than 650 physicians in 19 clinical departments. The hospital also employs 720 resident and fellow physicians and dentists, 1,671 nurses and nearly 5,000 other professional and support staff. The organization announced last year it was hiring 142 more nurses, citing an increase of in its daily inpatient count from about 50-70. It has an Aa2 bond rating from Moody's Investor Services.

University Medical Center (Tucson, Ariz.)

Besides saving the life of critically injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) following a senseless shooting on Jan. 8, University Medical Center has been very busy in the past year. In 2010, the hospital opened 116-bed Diamond Children's Medical Center, a partnership with the University of Arizona Steele Children's Research Center, merged with the physician practice of the University of Arizona College of Medicine and replaced Greg Pivirotto, who had been CEO for 21 years, with Kevin Burns, the former CFO. This year, the 487-bed hospital, on the campus of the Arizona Health Sciences Center, plans to complete its merger with University Physicians Hospital and the University of Arizona College of Medicine to form UA Healthcare.

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Physicians in UMHS saved $15 million in the first four years of the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration Project, the precursor to ACOs, mainly by focusing on transitions of patients coming in and out of hospital. With 930 beds, 179 ICU beds, and 66 ORs, UMHS generates 44,683 total surgical cases a year. Moody's Investor Services gave University of Michigan Hospitals an Aa2 bond rating. Among many distinctions, the HHS Hospital Compare Report gave UMHS high marks in for care in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infection prevention.

University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) Medical Center Presbyterian

Presbyterian Hospital, founded in 1893, took over a small medical school in 1908 and renamed it the University of Pittsburgh. Today, this 1,602-bed hospital is a leading center for organ transplantation, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, critical care medicine, trauma services, neurosurgery and cancer. The hospital is the flagship of UPMC, with 20 hospitals, 400 outpatient sites and physicians' offices and an insurance plan. UPMC had a $77 million increase in operating revenues in summer 2010. Overseas, the system operates in Italy, Ireland and Qatar, and plans to enter China. UPMC recently announced plans to integrate 375-bed Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.

UW Medical Center (Seattle)

The medical center is the flagship of UW Medicine, which owns or operates three hospitals and is affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine. Its parent, UW Medicine, also operates Harborview Medical Center. The medical center acquired Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle in 2009 and is now discussing an affiliation with Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash. The medical center has 450 licensed beds, 4,311 employees and 1,823 physicians on staff. In 2009, it broke ground on a project to provide additional space for premature babies, oncology programs and diagnostic imaging.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, Tenn.)

The medical center owes its name to Cornelius Vanderbilt, a New Yorker and once the wealthiest man in America, who bequeathed $1 million for Vanderbilt University at his death in 1877. Today the 832-bed medical center includes Vanderbilt University Hospital, with 600 beds, a children's hospital, cancer center, psychiatric hospital, rehabilitation hospital and more than 50 satellite clinics. The medical center pioneered electronic medical records 10 years ago and its homegrown system is now commercialized as CareAlign. In Oct. 2010, the medical center announced plans to build a new $200 million medical campus in Franklin, Tenn., to attract fully insured patients in the suburbs.

Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital

This institution, the birthplace of President George W. Bush, is the 944-bed flagship of three-hospital Yale-New Haven Health System, which commands a 20.5 percent market share for the whole state. It has a medical staff of 2,200 physicians and more than 500 residents and fellows training in more than 100 specialties and subspecialties and provides services to more than 503,000 outpatients a year. Among other distinctions, Yale-New Haven received the Connecticut Hospital Association's 2010 award for excellence in the delivery of healthcare through the use of data.

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