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I'd like to take a moment to congratulate my associates—the Texas Heart Institute's employees and the members of our professional staff—for their various roles in maintaining and improving the Institute's ranking among “America's Best Hospitals.” For the 19th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital among the top 10 centers for heart and heart surgery in the United States. This year's ranking is number 5—up from number 7 a year ago.
Of the almost 4,900 hospitals in the nation, only 174 were of high-enough quality to be ranked in even a single specialty this year. It should also be noted that the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is the only heart center in the Southwest to be listed among the top 10.
The top-ranked heart centers for 2009 are:
Unlike other rankings and reports, the U.S. News & World Report analysis looks at how well medical centers do in complex and demanding situations. The recognized centers fit a certain mold. They are often referral centers because their physicians see sicker patients and do higher volumes of difficult procedures. They follow and often propose advanced-treatment guidelines. They conduct research that can move from the laboratories and computer databases to the bedside. They take advantage of improvements in imaging, surgical devices, and other technologies.
Our ranking among the top 10 for 19 consecutive years is a great tribute to the doctors, nurses, scientists, support staff, and many friends who support our efforts to cure and ultimately to prevent heart and vascular disease in human beings.