For Immediate Release June 18, 2019


The Children's Heart Program at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital (UMCH) is once again ranked among the nation's top 50 pediatric cardiology and heart surgery centers, according to the 2019-2020 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospitals. There are nearly 200 qualified pediatric centers in the country.

Among children's hospitals nationally, the Children's Heart Program at UMCH ranks 32nd, moving up 9 positions from last year, when the program was ranked for the first time at 41st in the nation.

"It is an honor for our Children's Heart Program to be recognized a second time as being among the very best in the nation," says Steven J. Czinn, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and director of UMCH. "We have an immensely talented, innovative team of doctors, nurses and staff who constantly challenge themselves to take the care we provide to a whole new level. It is because of their collaborative and pioneering spirit that this program has been so successful in caring for children with heart disease."

The ranking demonstrates sustained excellence across the entire University of Maryland team caring for children with complex, serious and life-threatening illnesses. The process is rigorous, looking at how well programs score on a number of quality measures and reviewing participation in efforts to continuously improve care.

The ranking process included a comparison of pediatric cardiac surgical outcomes at UMCH with similar programs across the United States, using data from the Society of Thoracic Surgery Congenital Heart Surgery Database.

The Children's Heart Program at UMCH has seen some medical marvels this past year. One-year-old Tessa Agnoli received a heart transplant earlier in 2019, the youngest patient to have one at UMCH. Also this year, 12-year-old Lindsey Le had a double lung-heart transplant, a surgery that is rarely performed across the nation.

The program was evaluated not only on the expertise of individual caregivers, but also on the support provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center across the clinical spectrum, from surgery and intensive care to the catheterization and electrophysiology labs, to echocardiography and advanced imaging. The ranking process looked at research efforts at UMSOM, and the work with hospitals throughout the 13-hospital University of Maryland Medical System.

The process also evaluated other key areas that must work together to ensure the best results for some of the most vulnerable and tiny patients including nursing, social work and child life services, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, anesthesiology and pharmacy.

Learn more about the Children's Heart Program at UMCH.


About the University of Maryland Children's Hospital

The University of Maryland Children's Hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center is recognized throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region as a resource for critically and chronically ill children. UMCH physicians and staff excel in combining state-of-the-art medicine with family-centered care. More than 100 physicians specialize in understanding how to treat conditions and diseases in children, including congenital heart conditions, asthma, epilepsy and gastrointestinal disorders. The Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of care to the tiniest newborns. To learn more about the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, please visit