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Health News Florida

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital recognized as one of the nation’s best for pediatric surge

Julio Ochoa
/
WUSF Public Media

The American College of Surgeons has awarded the status to only two other hospitals in Florida and fewer than 50 around the nation.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is now a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center.

The designation means the hospital is among the top institutions in the country for pediatric surgery. The American College of Surgeons has awarded the status to only two other hospitals in Florida and fewer than 50 around the nation.

For All Children’s, it comes just a few years after regulators demanded changes at the hospital because of a spike in the mortality rate among pediatric heart surgery patients.

Reporters at the Tampa Bay Times found that the rate that those patients died tripled between 2015 and 2017.

The fallout caused four executives, including the hospital's CEO, and two top surgeons to step down. All Children's also paid more than $40 million in settlements to at least four families.

All Children's new head surgeon said the upgrade to a Level 1 status recognizes the hospital's ability improve quality, prevent complications, reduce costs and save lives.

“Level 1 verification for children’s surgery tells families and physicians that a center has the expertise, facilities, capabilities and processes to provide safe, high-quality surgical care to children,” Dr. Paul Danielson, chair of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, said in a release.

The verification program uses evidence-based benchmarks supported by expert consensus to provide nationally recognized standards for pediatric surgery.

“This achievement recognizes the capabilities of our surgical programs and the team’s commitment to excellence,” Alicia Schulhof, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital president, said in a release. “It also acknowledges our role as an organization to be leaders for our region when it comes to safe and effective surgical care for kids.”

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