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Published: 07/01/2011

U.S. NEWS Ranks St. Vincent's #1 in Fairfield County For Ear, Nose & Throat

22nd annual rankings recognize hospitals in 94 metro areas and 16 specialties

usnewsSt. Vincent's Medical Center has been ranked # 1 in Fairfield County for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) in U.S. News Media & World Report's 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings, available online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals. The rankings, annually published by U.S. News for the past 22 years, will also be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook, on sale August 30, 2011.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country's top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area.

"St. Vincent's is pleased to be ranked number one in the area for the specialty of ENT because it validates all our efforts to deliver quality and safe care for every patient who comes to us," said Chairman of Surgery Douglas A. Ross, MD, FACS. " The ranking reflects our commitment to providing our staff of highly trained physicians and medical professionals the most up-to-date facilities, technology and techniques to ensure superb outcomes for our patients."

The specialty of ear, nose and throat, also known as otolaryngology, is the branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders specific to the head and neck, ranging in impact from debilitating to life threatening.

ENT Surgery at St. Vincent's
St. Vincent's otolaryngology surgical team draws on state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose, treat, correct and/or reconstruct varied abnormalities and conditions of the brain, ear, throat, nose, sinus, thyroid, skull, mouth, esophagus, parathyroid and eye. Sophisticated equipment and the latest CT-scan technology are used at St. Vincent's to perform delicate endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic sinusitis and other problems.

ENT surgery at St. Vincent's also encompasses a whole range of procedures including complex head and neck cancer surgery with lymph node removal and reconstruction, techniques for removing pituitary, base-of-skull or other tumors, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and microvascular surgery and reconstruction for facial structural trauma. St. Vincent's calls upon a multidisciplinary approach to tailor treatment for each patient, which for cancer patients may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Best Hospitals Ranking:
The core mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age. "These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients," said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. "Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high."

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions. The regional rankings are aimed primarily at consumers whose care may not demand the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospital or who may not be willing or able to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their community and in their health insurance network.

"These are hospitals we call 'high performers.' They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures," Comarow said. "Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals."

Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties—death rates, patient safety, procedure volume, and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.

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