CHOP Kicks Off 150th Anniversary and Celebrates Third Consecutive Number One Ranking by Child magazine

Published on in CHOP News

Jan. 4, 2005 — The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia today marks the kickoff of its 150th anniversary year with a celebration and announcement of a third consecutive number one ranking as the nation's best pediatric hospital by Child magazine. The event serves as both a commemoration of the Hospital's distinguished history and a recognition of its ongoing impact on pediatric healthcare.

In addition to the overall ranking, Child magazine also ranked Children's Hospital's cardiac center, neonatology, oncology, and orthopedics departments number one in the nation and emergency medicine ranked fourth.

"The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has always been looked upon as a leader and an institution that others can emulate. We take our responsibility as a leader in pediatric medicine very seriously," said Steven M. Altschuler, MD, president and chief executive officer of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "As we celebrate these important milestones, we are reminded that everybody who works here has the opportunity to change the life of a child in a way that can be done in no other place."

"This is a great day at the beginning of a great year," said Richard M. Armstrong, Jr., chairman of the board of trustees at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Throughout my own history with the Hospital, I have been continually amazed at the dedication, the innovation and the tireless pursuit of scientific and medical advances that happen at Children's Hospital every day."

150-Year Legacy of Pediatric Healthcare and the Birthplace of Pediatric Medicine in the U.S.

Throughout its 150-year history, Children's Hospital has been the birthplace of many dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine and has fostered medical discoveries and innovations that have improved pediatric healthcare, and saved countless children's lives. Some examples include:

  • First formal medical training for pediatric doctors
  • First neonatal surgical and pediatric intensive care unit in the nation
  • First follow-up program for long-term survivors of childhood cancer 
  • First to develop the closed incubator for newborns
  • First to develop the balloon catheter for the treatment of certain heart defects
  • First to develop vaccines for mumps, whooping cough and influenza
  • First to offer subspecialty training in pediatric emergency medicine

Advances in medical and surgical treatments pioneered at Children's Hospital enable many children to survive once fatal childhood illnesses, like congenital heart disease, cancer and complications of prematurity. Physicians and researchers now focus on addressing the long-term outcomes and health issues affecting these children to improve the quality of life for this new generation of survivors.

Founded in 1855 with 12 beds and a dispensary on Blight St. (now Watts St.) in Philadelphia, Children's Hospital was the first hospital in the United States dedicated exclusively to the care of children. Today, the Hospital has 430 beds, as well as an extensive pediatric healthcare network with nearly 50 locations.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the leading pediatric hospitals and research facilities in the world; the institution's 150 years of innovation and service to patients and families and to the community reflects an ongoing commitment to exceptional patient care, innovative research and training new generations of pediatric healthcare providers.

Children's Hospital will celebrate its 150th anniversary in a year-long series of events, including the commemoration of the hospital's Founder's Day, to be observed in November 2005.

The Child magazine ranking

The Child magazine ranking is the result of a comprehensive data-based study of children's hospitals across the United States, and it is based on hard data rather than subjective opinions. Child magazine began its investigation by looking at almost 150 hospitals that are full members of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), and then narrowed the field to nearly 100 by tracking the evaluations the hospitals received from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), an independent agency that examines treatment protocols, record keeping and dispensing of medication. The finalists submitted a comprehensive 167-question survey developed by Child magazine's medical advisory board.

The Child magazine survey included questions pertaining to survival rates for childhood cancers, heart surgeries, organ transplants and premature births; staff qualifications; nurse-to-patient ratios; research funding and the number of clinical trials; the availability of playrooms, lending libraries and activities to help a child's hospital experience seem less frightening; and family services like support groups and sleeping accommodations for parents.

Founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is ranked in 2004 as the best pediatric hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and in 2005 by Child magazine. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding among children's hospitals. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. Children's Hospital operates the largest pediatric healthcare system in the U.S. with nearly 50 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

To schedule an interview or to request a comprehensive media kit, including information about the hospital's 150th Anniversary and/or the Child magazine ranking, please contact Joey McCool, (267) 426-6070.