Ranking may lead to sources for reporting on aging

About Judith Graham

Judith Graham (@judith_graham), is a freelance journalist based in Denver and former topic leader on aging for AHCJ. She haswritten for the New York Times, Kaiser Health News, the Washington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association, STAT News, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

Health reporters covering the aging beat might be interested in which hospitals offer the best geriatric services, according to recent rankings published by U.S. News & World Report.

Don’t take the magazine’s word as gospel; its method for rating hospitals has been questioned by many and is by no means the definitive word on the subject.

That said, each of the hospital departments mentioned on the U.S. News list houses experts knowledgeable about aging and health. You might want to put the list in a file so it’s handy when you’re looking for sources to comment on a story you’re covering.

These are the top 25 geriatrics departments, according to the magazine:

1. Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York
2. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
5. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
6. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
7. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
8. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
9. UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh
10. Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
11. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
12. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
13. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore
14. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
15. NYU Langone Medical Center, New York
16. Hospital for Special Surgery, New York
17. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
18. Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
19. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
20. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
21. St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis
22. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
23. Methodist Hospital, Houston
24. University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland
25. Indiana University Health, Indianapolis

I’m struck by the absence on this list of hospitals in the South, the Southwest and the interior West. This may have to do with U.S. News‘ methodology, which relies heavily on recommendations from medical specialists. But it’s a bit disconcerting, nonetheless.

Judith GrahamJudith Graham (@judith_graham), AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, is writing blog posts, editing tip sheets and articles and gathering resources to help our members cover the many issues around our aging society.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to judith@healthjournalism.org.

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