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Published:  July 16, 2009

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital Ranked Among Nation’s Best Hospitals in Eight Specialties

HOUSTON (July 16, 2009) — In its annual survey of “America’s Best Hospitals,” U.S.News & World Report has ranked St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (SLEH) among the elite healthcare institutions in the nation in eight major areas of care. This includes the Texas Heart® Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, listed in the top ten nationally in heart and heart surgery for the 19th consecutive year.

“We are thrilled to be ranked number five in the U.S. in heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2009,” said James T. Willerson, MD, president and medical director of THI.  “This prestigious ranking is a great tribute to the doctors, nurses, scientists, support staff and all of our friends who support our efforts to cure and ultimately prevent heart and vascular disease.  We are extremely grateful to the governing boards of THI and SLEH for their consistent support, encouragement and leadership on our behalf.” 

Moving up from last year’s ranking of seventh in the nation, the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is the only heart center in Houston and the Southwest to be listed among the top ten in its category by the magazine. St. Luke’s also placed among the nation’s leading hospitals in Digestive DisordersDiabetes & Endocrine Disorders, Geriatric Care, Kidney DisordersNeurology & NeurosurgeryRespiratory Disorders, and Urology.

"Every day, St. Luke's delivers compassionate and quality care to our patients and their families," said David C. Pate, MD, JD, senior vice president, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, and CEO, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. "This national honor acknowledges our culture of clinical excellence, which translates into outstanding accomplishments in patient care."

The annual rankings, determined through criteria such as surgical volume, ratio of registered nurses to beds, number of medical and surgical discharges and recognition by peers, are designed to assist people in seeking the highest level of skill in diagnosing, treating or managing difficult medical conditions. U.S.News evaluated data from 4,861 hospitals, of which only 174 met the standard of being among the best in one or more specialties. The magazine evaluated data, engaged in physician surveys and considered patient outcomes, then recognized the 50 top-scoring hospitals in each category it reviewed.  

For more information about the rankings, visit U.S.News online at


The Texas Heart Institute (, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Denton A. Cooley, MD, in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education and improved patient care. Together with its clinical partner, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, it has been ranked among the top ten cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report’s annual guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” for the past 19 years. The Texas Heart Institute is also affiliated with the University of Texas (UT) System, which promotes collaboration in cardiovascular research and education among UT and THI faculty at the Texas Heart Institute and other UT components.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System ( includes St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital; St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital; St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and KS Management Services, LLC, overseeing 18 area clinic locations. Affiliated with several nursing schools and three medical schools, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and has been honored four times with the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ by HealthGrades, a leading independent company that measures healthcare quality in hospitals. The Health System has been recognized by FORTUNE as among the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and by the Houston Business Journal as a top employer in Houston. St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System also was honored as one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work.”

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