Children’s hospital named one of the best

Charleston Post and Courier
January 1, 2001

Color mug shot of Key and a box listing the top 10 best hospitals for children. The Medical University of South Carolina has one of the 10 best children’s hospitals in the country, according to a survey announced Wednesday by Child magazine.

MUSC Children’s Hospital ranked as 10th best of 178 hospitals that the magazine examined during a five-month investigation, according to editor-in-chief Miriam Arond.

The survey was not based on opinions but on hard data including performance records, percentage of staff board certified in pediatrics, quality of doctors and nurses, survival rates for common childhood cancers, government research funding and community outreach, Arond said.

Hospitals on the list conduct cutting-edge research and offer exceptional medical care in an environment that is sensitive and friendly to children and parents, Arond said.

“It is quite remarkable,” said Dr. Lyndon Key, vice chairman of the MUSC Department of Pediatrics.

The hospital building was just completed in 1989, he said, whereas the other nine centers read like a hall of fame.

The Child survey also named Key as one of 10 outstanding pediatricians who have made a difference in their fields. The magazine pointed to his clinical trials, which led to recent approval of a drug that slows the progression of the rare childhood disease osteopetrosis. The hospital ranking comes from a composite of the center: the good staff and the way the hospital meets children’s needs, Key said. He credited physicians, support staff, clinical programs, research and the broad base of specialized offerings including every surgical sub-specialty. The hospital offers the premiere neonatology group in the region as well as pediatric intensive care, heart surgery and cancer specialties.

The person most responsible is Dr. Charles P. Darby, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, who is in India this week and not available for comment, Key said.

Darby worked tirelessly to build the hospital and in 16 years has guided the growth from seven or eight to 65 full-time pediatric faculty, Key said.

On Feb. 7, MUSC will break ground on the Children’s Research Institute, a 100,000-square-foot building that will help recruit physicians and scientists and will double or triple the pediatric research now performed at MUSC.

“This will allow us to move to the next tier and become one of the leading research institutions,” Key said. “We will have a research program that is like the clinical program, that is second to none.” Key, director of pediatric endocrinology and the General Clinical Research Center, is considered a leading authority on pediatric bone disorders and diseases and growth hormone deficiencies. He is leading a trial at MUSC and other medical centers on a drug that promises to relieve symptoms and halt the progression of multiple sclerosis and has implications for treating stroke and inflammatory illnesses.

Key outlined a lengthy list of other pediatric studies under way and said, “There are some very exciting things in research.” CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS

Child magazine named these hospitals (from first to 10th) as the best in the country for children:

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Children’s Hospital in Boston
Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle
Children’s Hospital in Denver
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston
Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit
A tie between Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Children’s Hospital & Health Center in San Diego
University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor
Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital in Charleston

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