​U.Va. Children’s Hospital receives top rankings

Four departments of U.Va. Children’s Hospital honored by U.S. News and World Report


The Children’s Hospital offers advanced care and includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in addition to over 30 specialties.

Courtesy U.Va. Children's Hospital

Four specialties at the University Children’s Hospital received recognition for their dedication in providing quality care to their young patients. Neonatology ranked 30th, Diabetes and Endocrinology ranked 34th, Orthopedics tied for 41st and Cardiology and Heart Surgery ranked 44th nationally, according to the U.S. News and World Report website.

The Children’s Hospital offers advanced care and includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in addition to over 30 specialties. With 111 inpatient beds, over 200 doctors and 33 departments, the University Children’s Hospital is a medium-sized hospital, but continues to expand.

Dr. Robert A. Sinkin, Division Head of Neonatology, said in an email statement that neonatology concentrates on caring for newborns and emphasizes the importance of caring for children born with infections, congenital disorders and other conditions. The Neonatology department offers services such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a type of heart-lung bypass, and surgery for congenital structural heart disease. The specialized doctors in the Neonatology department treat local patients as well as many coming from outside of the Commonwealth.

“For the fourth year in a row, the Division of Neonatology has been recognized for its outstanding service and outcomes, climbing eight spots in the USNWR best children’s hospital rankings to #30,” Sinkin said. “The NICU continues to be on the forefront of discovery, bringing new and developing therapies and technology to Virginia’s smallest and sickest newborns…Our NICU was also awarded the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program’s highest designation, Gold Safe Sleep Champion, by the Cribs for Kids® foundation.”

In explaining how he and his team treat children with hormonal disorders, Dr. David Repaske, Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology, spoke about the use of advanced technology for patients diagnosed with diabetes, including continuous glucose monitoring. His team works with one of a handful of teams involved in the development of the artificial pancreas, a mechanism that has the potential to dramatically change the lives of those with diabetes. To provide the best care possible, the team emphasizes the importance of understanding the perspective of the patient’s family to minimize stress.

“The rankings are based on a combination of services offered, volume of patients, general expertise in endocrinology, safety and quality initiatives and reputation among pediatric endocrinologists across the country,” Repaske said. “We excel in all areas with the exception that we are a moderate volume program. Personally, I feel that our volume is a benefit from the point of view of the family: our patients are treated individually and are not ‘just a number’.”

Beyond the USNWR rankings, the Children’s Hospital has received numerous accolades over the years.

“In 2016, [the] University of Virginia Women’s Services and U.Va. Children’s Hospital were among just 1 percent of reporting U.S. hospitals to meet all four maternity care standards from the Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety organization,” Karin Skee, associate chief of University Children’s Hospital and Women’s Services, said.

Additionally, in 2015, Baby-Friendly USA recognized University Children’s Hospital as a Baby-Friendly ® Designated birth facility after a representative surveyed the hospital’s treatment of postpartum mothers and children.

The University’s first hospital was established in 1901, and although the Children’s Hospital is located in Charlottesville, the hospital has also developed outreach clinics at Zions Crossroads, Culpeper and Bristol. In 2014, the Children’s Hospital expanded with the establishment of the Children’s Hospital Ambulatory Clinics at the Battle Building.

Volunteers work alongside nurses and doctors to assist patients in catering to their needs. At the University Children’s Hospital, local organizations and volunteers are an integral part of making the children more comfortable. For example, since 2013, the Soho Center has donated over 200,000 books for sick children, and the Ronald McDonald House in Charlottesville helps to house families of children who visit the University medical facilities for treatment.

“These four specialties are an example of how of the U.Va. Children’s Hospital works to provide excellent care to patients, bringing together multidisciplinary teams of specialists to provide the most advanced care using the latest technology and services,” Skee said.

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