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Bearings - Summer 2010

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Children′s National Medical Center Among Best Children′s Hospitals

Children′s National Medical Center is once again ranked among America′s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Children′s National is featured on the list of elite of pediatric specialty care providers in seven pediatric subspecialty areas.

In its current rankings, U.S. News & World Report does not rank hospitals by one composite ranking; rather, it has shifted to rankings in 10 distinct categories: Cancer; Diabetes & Endocrine Disorders; Digestive Disorders; Heart & Heart Surgery; Kidney Disorders; Neonatal Care; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Respiratory Disorders; and Urology. Highlights include Children′s National′s neonatal care (ranked #8 among children′s hospitals) and heart and heart surgery care (ranked #15 among children′s hospitals).

Children′s National provides premier pediatric healthcare services in key areas including neonatology, cancer, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, respiratory disorders, urology, and kidney disease. Children′s National also is a top ranked freestanding children′s hospital in terms of National Institutes of Health funding for pediatric research. "Children′s National is proud to once again be recognized as one of the best pediatric healthcare providers in the country," said Edwin K. Zechman, Jr., president and CEO of Children′s National.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings weighed reputation, outcome, and care-related measures such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, and other factors. The hospitals were judged based on a combination of opinions from pediatric specialists about the hospitals they would recommend for the sickest children and data gathered in a 65-page survey covering important medical information. The rankings can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website or in the print edition starting on July 27.

"Children′s National continues to set standards for care, advocacy, research, and education," said Peter Holbrook, MD, chief medical officer at Children′s National. "This honor recognizes the dedication of our outstanding team of doctors, nurses, and staff to provide world-class care to all children regionally, nationally, and internationally."

While this ranking is an important indicator of the work performed at Children′s National, we recognize that the true value of our work is measured by our daily efforts to provide world-class care to each of our patients and families.

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Children′s National Medical Center Achieves Magnet Designation

Thirteen hundred registered nurses were honored on March 23 at Children′s National Medical Center by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as Children′s National celebrated its Magnet designation. Magnet status is the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve. The Magnet program promotes quality care in an environment that supports innovative nursing practices and positive patient care outcomes.

"This has been an important journey for the entire organization," said Nellie Robinson, MS, RN, executive vice president, patient services and chief nursing officer at Children′s National. "Hundreds of nurses representing every unit have participated in this process, which celebrates and documents nursing excellence, quality patient care, and innovations in our professional nursing practice."

Only six percent of hospitals across the country have achieved Magnet status, putting Children′s National among an elite group of healthcare facilities nationwide. Magnet hospitals are recognized as having improved safety practices, lower patient mortality rates, and higher patient and family satisfaction. Magnet status serves as a benchmark for many families looking to assess the high quality of care they can expect to receive.

"This is a significant day in Children′s history," said Edwin K. Zechman Jr. "Children′s National is committed to nursing excellence, and through the Magnet program, our nurses have demonstrated their contribution to the quality care for which we are known. I am proud of the leadership demonstrated by so many nurses across our organization to earn this important national recognition. Children′s National nurses are innovators, leaders, researchers, educators, and advocates for the patients and families for whom they care."

"I echo the sentiments of Children′s leadership in celebrating with our nurses this designation by the ANCC," said Peter R. Holbrook, MD. "We recognize the day-to-day leadership role nurses play in assuring a safe and caring environment. Magnet status highlights nursing′s leadership and affirms Children′s reputation regionally, nationally, and internationally - a reputation earned based on the quality care patients and families receive."

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Dr. Bear′s University Hosts Maryland Delegates

Elected officials joined community and business leaders from across the region at Children′s National Medical Center on April 27 to participate in Dr. Bear′s University, a mini-internship program designed to provide participants with an in-depth, behind-the-scenes experience at Children′s National.  

Delegate John Wood and his Legislative Aide Nancy Lore prepare to observe a surgery at Dr. Bear′s University.
Local leaders spent the day in clinical rotations with Children′s physicians and nurses, observed the special care given to our young patients, and learned more about the nature of specialty pediatric care in the region. Among the participants were three members of the Maryland General Assembly: Delegate John Wood (District 29A-Charles and St. Mary′s Counties), Delegate Henry Heller (District 19-Montgomery County) and Delegate Melony Griffith (District 25-Prince George′s County). "I think every legislator should be required to go through a program like this," Delegate Wood commented. "It was great!" 

Delegate Heller said, "I was very pleased to take part in Dr. Bear′s University. The program is invaluable as a way to show participants what great work is being done at Children′s National. I was very impressed that the professionals there were able to give such in-depth and insightful tutorials in such a short amount of time. Bravo to Dr. Bear′s University!" We thank the delegates and their staff members for making time in their busy schedules to attend Dr. Bear′s University.

The next session of Dr. Bear′s University will be held in the fall. If you are interested in learning more about Children′s National, how we serve Maryland′s children and families, and what makes us one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, please contact Tim Jones, manager of State Government Affairs, at

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Meet Dr. Melvin Stern!

Dr. Mel Stern has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine since 1977 in Highland, Maryland. Dr. Stern recently served on the board of the Children′s National Health Network (CNHN), the region′s largest dedicated pediatric provider network. CNHN serves as a link between the primary care pediatrician and pediatric specialist when a child is diagnosed with a condition requiring more specialized care. The network provides families with a seamless link between their primary care pediatrician and the pediatric specialists, connecting pediatricians in Maryland with specialists at Children′s National for referrals, consultations and more. CNHN has more than 800 members—linking more than 500 community-based pediatricians in 175 practices with more than 300 pediatricians and specialists at Children′s National.

Dr. Stern has held positions on the executive board of the Howard County Association of Retarded Citizens, the Maryland State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the Advisory Board for the Regional Center for Students with Head Trauma of the Baltimore City Department of Education. He also serves as chair of the Legislative Committee of the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Dr. Stern received a BS from Michigan State University, and an MD from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Hospital and an instructor in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. He is married and has six children, seven step-children, and one dozen grandchildren.

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