- Terra Molengraff/Daily
By Stephanie Shenouda, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 4, 2013
To an intimate crowd on Monday morning, Motty — the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital mascot — pulled down the banner that officially revealed the hospital has been named the eighth best children’s hospital in the nation by Parents magazine.
This announcement marks the first time that the hospital was ranked in the top 10 by the magazine, which has circulation around 2.2 million. Chris Dickinson, interim executive director of the hospital, told the crowd that the acknowledgment is a major milestone for the hospital.
“We are thrilled to make this announcement and very proud of this accomplishment and what it means for the organization,” Dickinson said. “We are thrilled to be recognized by a magazine trusted by so many parents for advice on raising healthy children.”
Dickinson said in an interview after the event that he believed the new facility, which opened in Dec. 2011, is a hidden gem of the University.
“I’ve been here since 1984, and I love this place, I love what we do here,” Dickinson said. “We do a lot of unusual, great things for kids, and I bet that a lot of the students don’t even know that there’s a children’s hospital here. So I’m hoping that this recognition and validation for all the good work that we do there.”
He added that the accomplishment was achieved by the entire staff including “pharmacy, and nurses, and respiratory therapists, and facility (workers), all working together … to ensure that we’re giving our families the best experiences possible.”
Hospitals on the list were evaluated by Parents magazine editors and a team of medical advisors. Hospitals were rated on several factors, including staffing ratios, depth of research, survival rates for serious diseases and availability of family services.
Pediatric department chair Valerie Castle said the publication reputation adds to the value of the honor.
“Parents is a highly regarded magazine for informing parents about healthy choices for their kids,” Castle said. “We have patients that come from all over the world for our care and some of the things that we do here are very advanced.”
Castle added that the honor is significant for families with children with “rare or complex diseases,” because it’s a validation of the care they offer.
Awards of this nature can impact recruitment of faculty and development of new clinical programs.
“I think this distinction is important when you’re trying to recruit talent from across the country to come to the University of Michigan health system,” she said.
Loree Collett, assistant director of Mott, echoed the sentiments of progress, addressing the recent changes the hospital has undergone to achieve its standing.
“In our old facility, compared to our new facility, we were doing expert care and research, but we struggled with reputation and the right facility,” Collett said. “I think that the building has provided us a better opportunity to provide better care to our patients, especially the ability for parents to stay in the rooms 24/7 with their child.”
Collett said the award from the family-focused magazine is reflective of UMHS's values.
“In our hospital particularly, because we’re focused on children’s and women’s care, we’re really trying to continue patient and family focused care,” she said. “The doctors now do rounds and engage the moms and dads as they talk about their child that day, to teach them what they’re learning about caring for their child every day.”
The response from the administrators was unanimous. Though they're proud of the accomplishment, Mott plans to keep improving service and care until they are number one.