Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California (USC), one of only two university-based medical systems in Los Angeles, maintained its No. 3 ranking as the top hospital in the Los Angeles metro area and No. 8 in California but also moved up in national rankings – posting No. 9 in ophthalmology, No. 20 in urology, No. 23 in cancer and No. 33 in geriatrics – in the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report annual “Best Hospitals” rankings released today.

The hospitals and related institutes which comprise Keck Medical Center of USC have consistently ranked among the top 10 in California since 2009 when USC purchased the two hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. While the USC Eye Institute maintained its No. 9 national ranking in ophthalmology from last year, Keck Medical Center of USC moved up nine ranks to No. 20 for its USC Institute of Urology and jumped more than 25 ranks to No. 23 for its cancer care at USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Last year, Keck Medical Center of USC was not ranked in geriatrics but this year achieved a No. 33 ranking nationwide in this specialty.

In addition, Keck Medical Center was “high performing” in seven specialty areas: cardiology and heart surgery; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; and orthopedics. A high performing score represents hospitals ranking among the top 25 percent nationally in a given specialty. Just three percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals analyzed earned national ranking in even one specialty.

“These rankings underscore our commitment to quality patient care and recognize the exceptional medicine we perform every day,” said Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO of USC Health. “Health care has undergone tremendous change in the last year but we have stayed focused on our mission to provide the expert medical care where and when patients need it – from the hospital to the outpatient setting in a growing number of communities across Southern California.”

The 25th annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospital” rankings, which are voted on by physicians and medical colleagues across the country, represent a guide for patients who need a high level of care because they face difficult surgery, challenging conditions or added risks because of other health conditions or advanced age. Objective measures such as patient survival and safety data, the adequacy of nurse staffing levels and other data largely determine the rankings in most specialties. The rankings are freely available at and will appear in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2015” guidebook, available in August.

Over the last six months, U.S. News & World Report has also recognized Keck Medicine of USC through its “Best Graduate Schools” issue which ranked the Keck School of Medicine of USC No. 31 among 153 medical schools in the nation. And in its “Best Children’s Hospitals” honor roll this April, the USC-affiliated Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles ranked No. 5 nationwide, a position it has held the last three years. The renowned children’s hospital is staffed predominantly by Keck Medicine of USC faculty physicians.

“There are few medical centers nationwide that can boast USC’s dedication to training the next generation of scientists and physicians as well as having a faculty staff committed to caring for people from the youngest in our society to our most aged,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Patients benefit from having access to the world’s top surgeons, scientists and medical experts as well as being able to participate in clinical trials and other cutting-edge treatments – services and benefits only a university-based medical system can provide.”

In addition to its U.S. News & World Report rankings, Keck Medical Center of USC was also awarded an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group in March 2014. This annual voluntary survey assesses how hospitals address patient safety and overall patient outcomes.

“When patients come to Keck Medical Center, they typically are referred here because we have world-renowned experts in most major specialty fields and our treatments and technology are the best medical solutions they will receive,” said Scott Evans, PharmD, MHA, CEO of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. “What is most important is they become part of our Trojan family – we treat each patient as a member of our family and being ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report is recognition of this commitment to medical excellence, patient safety and compassionate care.”

by Sherri Snelling