The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center has been named the top hospital in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area by U.S. News & World Report.
The annual rankings, which were released Tuesday, evaluated 73 local hospitals. Baptist Hospital of Miami came in at No. 2 in the area, followed by South Miami Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center. Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston rounded out the top five.
UM/Jackson was ranked No. 6 in the state. Florida Hospital in Orlando was ranked No. 1, followed by Tampa General Hospital.
"This national honor is a testament to the expertise and collaboration of Jackson Health System and the physicians and surgeons from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Whether for everyday emergencies or life-threatening conditions, patients across Miami-Dade and around the world choose Jackson for compassionate, world-class care," Jackson Health System CEO Carlos A. Migoya said in a statement. "The UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is working hard every day to earn the continued trust and support of patients, caregivers and taxpayer-owners."
The rankings come out just over a year after the Miller School of Medicine announced the layoffs of hundreds of workers amid financial issues. No clinical staff - workers who directly deal with patients - were affected.
"Every day when I walk through our hospital, I see countless other examples - not just our patients, but our colleagues in the Jackson family. Jackson is stronger when we all take responsibility for every patient. That’s why we today are the #1 hospital in South Florida," Migoya said.
UM/Jackson celebrated the news with an employee rally later Tuesday. Also participating in the rally were two recent patients, Yasser Lopez and Aaron Willis.
Lopez, 17, was admitted to the hospital last June after he was shot in the head by a spear gun. After undergoing delicate surgery, he is continuing physical, occupation and speech therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.
"When I got here, I couldn’t even sit down. I would fall. Now, I’m walking, speaking, and going to school," Lopez said.
Willis, 15, was brought to the hospital after he was shot in the back while riding a bicycle in Wynwood just days before Christmas in 2012. He was left paralyzed but continues therapy at Jackson.
"That’s not really a surprise to me, because I already thought they were number one. Ever since the first day, they were treating me like family, like I was one of their sons. At first it was hard. I didn’t know what was going on, how to get around in the wheelchair, but I’m getting better and better at moving around," said Willis.