Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University named one of nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report has placed Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in the new 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

CHoR tied at No. 45 in nephrology. This is the fourth time CHoR has been ranked for kidney care.

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings are the only comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric centers.

“It takes a team to care for kids with complex pediatric kidney disease,” said Timothy Bunchman, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology. “Our team includes kidney doctors, nurses, dietitians, nurse educators, social workers and a full complement of pediatric specialists who rally around a child to take care of the entire family and community that supports them. We see improved outcomes and happier families with this comprehensive approach to care. That’s the true reflection of our commitment to our kids and their families.”

Timothy Bunchman, M.D.
Timothy Bunchman, M.D.

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology considers clinical outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, efficiency and coordination of care delivery and compliance with best practices.

“The pediatric centers we rank in Best Children’s Hospitals deliver exceptionally high-quality care and deserve to be recognized for their commitment,” said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor for U.S. News & World Report. “Children with life-threatening illnesses or rare conditions need the state-of-the-art services and expertise these hospitals provide every day.”

Patients like 17-year-old Fredericksburg resident Allyson Manchester benefit from this nationally ranked level of kidney care. Manchester’s parents didn’t know if she would live or die when she was diagnosed with Wegener’s, a condition that causes serious and painful inflammation of the blood vessels affecting the kidneys, nose, throat, ears and lungs.

“You don’t plan for that,” said Steve Manchester, Allyson’s father. “My first thought was to call top hospitals to learn about their [kidney] programs, but they all told me we had the best nephrology team in our backyard at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. I wanted her to have the best team and she does.”

The Manchester family has adjusted to its “new normal.” Allyson Manchester continues to thrive every day.

“It’s exciting that they won this award and it’s an honor to have them on my team,” she said. “Wegener’s causes a lot of pain but they are determined to help me get better. They are always one step ahead of my disease. They make an awful diagnosis bearable.”

Michelle Cortez agrees. The 19-year-old suffers from chronic kidney disease.

“I’m not surprised they are one of the nation’s best,” she said of CHoR. “They’ve always been a part of my family and because of them I’m in my second year of college studying radiology. Dr. Bunchman and the team don’t just care about my medical future and how I’m doing. They ask about school and really care about my entire future.”

CHoR’s comprehensive nephrology program cares for children across Central Virginia and surrounding states with three satellite outpatient locations from Petersburg to Fredericksburg and a main office located in the new outpatient Children’s Pavilion. The team provides care for a full range of pediatric nephrology needs including kidney transplant and dialysis.

“While the national recognition of our kidney program is humbling, what motivates our team is to see our patients surviving and thriving,” said Jeniece Roane, interim vice president of children’s services at CHoR. “We are dedicated to continuing to advance children’s health and to nurturing healthy futures for children like Michelle and Allyson.”

Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure and patient volume, availability of programs for particular illnesses and conditions and much more are available on the U.S. News website and will be published in theU.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2018” guidebook.