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U.S. News ranks St. Francis among top hospitals

Dr. George Petrossian, director of Interventional Cardiovascular Procedures

Dr. George Petrossian, director of Interventional Cardiovascular Procedures at St. Francis Hospital, performs a catheterization in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. (July 16, 2013) Credit: Newsday/ Audrey C. Tiernan

St. Francis Hospital came out on top again among Long Island hospitals in rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

In its annual survey of close to 5,000 hospitals released Tuesday, the magazine ranked the Flower Hill hospital eighth in the nation for cardiology and cardiac surgery.

This is the seventh year in a row the hospital has been nationally recognized and its best ranking so far. Last year it placed 11th nationally for cardiac surgery and cardiology.

Dr. Alan Guerci, chief executive of Catholic Health Services, who until May had been chief executive of St. Francis for 14 years, attributes the hospital's success to a "core group of gifted cardiologists and cardiac surgeons."

"We have throughout the hospital a commitment to excellence the likes of which I never seen anywhere else," Guerci said.

In the metropolitan area, which includes New York City, Long Island, Westchester and northern New Jersey, St. Francis ranked fifth overall and fourth in the state. It was nationally recognized in seven other specialties: ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; geriatrics; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park was next highest among Island hospitals in the region, in 11th place. Its Zucker Hillside Hospital placed 16th nationally in psychiatry and its Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York was nationally recognized in seven pediatric specialties: diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; and urology.

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola tied for 16th in the metro area. Stony Brook University Hospital was 21st, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip was 23rd and Huntington Hospital was 25th.

Nationally, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore recovered its first-place ranking, besting Massachusetts General Hospital, which last year was top-ranked in the country. Before that, Hopkins had been ranked No. 1 for 21 years in a row.

This is the 24th year the magazine has rated hospitals.

NewYork-Presbyterian University Hospital in Manhattan was ranked seventh nationally overall and was first in the state and metro area. New York University Langone Medical Center was ranked 14th nationally.