USF doctors lead most top-ranked specialties at Florida’s best hospital

Tampa General ranks as state’s top hospital on latest U.S. News & World Report list

Tampa General, exterior dusk shot

USF Health doctors lead most of the top-ranked specialties that have led Tampa General Hospital to rank as Florida’s best hospital in the new list of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2012-13.

TGH was listed among the nation’s Top 50 Hospitals in nine medical specialties:

  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery (38th)
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology (22nd)
  • Ear, Nose & Throat (28th)
  • Geriatrics (41st)
  • Nephrology (14th)
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery (47th)
  • Orthopedics (14th)
  • Pulmonology (43rd)
  • Urology (16th)

“I would like to congratulate all of our faculty members who work every day to deliver the best possible care to their patients at Tampa General Hospital, said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health. “And, we would like to congratulate Tampa General for receiving this well-deserved recognition as the best hospital in Florida.”

The Tampa General rankings showcase the value and importance of academic medicine, Dr. Klasko said.

“The number of our faculty who provide such excellent, cutting-edge care at Tampa General are improving the health of patients across Tampa Bay and beyond,” Dr. Klasko said. “The devotion to best practices, knowledge of evidence-based medicine and push for better clinical research are all strengths that academic doctors bring to the table to elevate the level of care at a strong teaching hospital.”

USF Health full-time faculty members who lead the top-ranked specialties at TGH are:  Dr. Tapan Padhya, chief of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery; Dr. Stephen Rifkin, chief of Nephrology; Dr. Rossitza Chichkova, chief of Neurology; Dr. Fernando Vale, chief of Neurosurgery; Dr. David Solomon, chief of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine; and Dr. Rafael Carrion, chief of Urology.

Tampa General, which attained the highest rating, was joined on the U.S. News top 10 list of Florida’s best hospitals by two other USF Health hospital partners for teaching and research — Sarasota Memorial Hospital (8th) and Moffitt Cancer Center (9th).

The state rankings are a new category developed by U.S. News. The same methodology used to rank the nation’s Top 50 Hospitals was applied to Florida hospitals to allow patients to compare hospitals outside of their communities. TGH’s national and high performing ratings led to it becoming the top ranked hospital in the state. 

“The common denominator of the two recognized hospitals in Tampa Bay, Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center, is their affiliation with USF Health and where the preponderance of our faculty work, teach and practice.  It is a great example of the value of an academic medical center to the communities we serve.”

“It’s an honor to rank among the nation’s elite hospitals,” said Ron Hytoff, president and CEO of Tampa General. “But it also carries a responsibility to maintain the high level of medical care reflected in this ranking. It means we must maintain strong partnerships with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and with community physicians to ensure our patients get the medical care they deserve.” 

In addition, TGH received “high performing” ratings in three medical specialties: cancer, gastroenterology, and gynecology. A high performing rating is given to hospitals that perform nearly as well as the nationally rated ones in those medical categories.

 Last year, TGH ranked among the country’s Top 50 hospitals in seven specialties. It also ranked TGH as the best hospital in the metropolitan Tampa Bay market, a designation that will carry over into 2012-13.

 The 23rd annual edition of Best Hospitals showcases more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

 Avery Comarow, the U.S. News Health Rankings Editor, characterized the rankings as a “GPS-type aid to help steer patients to hospitals with strong skills in the procedures and medical conditions that present the biggest challenges.

“All of these hospitals are the kinds of medical centers that should be on your list when you need the best care,” Comarow said. “They are where other hospitals send the toughest cases.”

 The rankings were published by U.S. News in collaboration with RTI International, a research organization based in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Highlights of the 2012-13 rankings will appear in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, to go on sale in August.

The complete rankings and methodology are available at