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News Seton Austin, UMC Brackenridge Ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in Central Texas

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AUSTIN, Texas - (July 17, 2012) - Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge rank No. 1 and No. 2 among 32 acute care hospitals for adults in the Austin metro area on U.S. News & World Report's highly regarded list of Best Hospitals for 2012-13, the magazine announced today.

The hospital rankings, said U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow, are like a GPS-type aid to help steer patients to hospitals with strong skills in the procedures and medical conditions that present the biggest challenges.

"All of these hospitals are the kinds of medical centers that should be on your list when you need the best care," said Comarow. "They are where other hospitals send the toughest cases."

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This recognition comes as both UMC Brackenridge and Seton Austin grow their medical research capabilities and employ more graduate medical students as medical residents. Overall goals are to improve local health care, develop Central Texas' next generation of physicians and alleviate the local doctor shortage.

Seton Austin was judged to be "high performing" in eight specialties: ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; and pulmonology.

UMC Brackenridge is high performing in four specialties - ear, nose and throat; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; and orthopedics, the magazine concluded. UMC Brackenridge is managed by Seton for Central Health, Travis County's health care district.

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, another Seton hospital, is making the same strides. It is ranked No. 49 among 178 U.S. children's hospitals assessed nationwide in the specialty of pediatric urology, U.S. News announced earlier this month. For children's hospitals, the magazine surveyed 178 pediatric institutions and found 80 which excelled in at least one specialty.

When compared to all 607 acute care hospitals for adults throughout Texas, Seton Austin is ranked No. 11 and UMC Brackenridge No. 21.

This year, U.S. News assessed nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties. More than 720 hospitals are showcased by the magazine and fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties. Now in its 23rd year, this annual ranking is highly regarded by health care professionals and academic researchers and frequently cited in scholarly investigations.

"From outpatient fracture and injury care to advanced reconstruction and replacement for post-traumatic and degenerative conditions, our surgeons and staff have the expertise to manage a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions," said Dr. Michael Andreo, Seton Austin chief of orthopedics. "It is good to see that recognized in this analysis."

"It is heartening to see how quickly Seton's neurosciences program has come to be regarded as a top medical team, focused on each patient's condition and quality of life and offering the most comprehensive, least invasive treatment available," said Dr. Alex Valadka, head of the Seton Brain and Spine Institute, which is just three years old.

"Dell Children's deserves high praise for its accomplishments," said Comarow. "It has a reservoir of dedication and expertise that helps the sickest kids. Our goal at U.S. News is to identify and call attention to pediatric centers like this one."

For families of sick children, U.S. News' Best Children's Hospitals provides unparalleled, quality-related information in addition to rankings, including survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume, and much more. Since their 2007 debut, the children's hospital ranking has put an increasing emphasis on data that directly reflect hospitals' performance over the opinions of physicians.

All the rankings were published by U.S. News in collaboration with RTI International, a research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Highlights of the 2012-13 rankings will appear in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, to go on sale in August.

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