Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health network, is pleased to announce that the 13th annual Best Children’s Hospital rankings by U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has ranked the combined cancer program at Hackensack Meridian Health’s two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital –#44 in the U.S. and the only cancer program in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation.  In addition, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #49 and the only children’s hospital in New Jersey to be ranked in Neurology and Neurosurgery. The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital has now ranked five times in the top 50 in Neurology and Neurosurgery.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to once again be recognized by U.S. News & World Report. The Best Hospital rankings underscore the high-quality patient care the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital consistently delivers to our patients and their families,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “I congratulate Judy Aschner, M.D., clinical director, Children’s Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health and physician in chief at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital; Alfred P. Gillio, M.D., director of the Children’s Cancer Institute at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, who administers the cancer program at both children’s hospitals; and Jessica Scerbo, M.D., section chief, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital for the integrated cancer care our children’s hospitals offer to pediatric patients and their families.”

The 13th annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery and urology.   The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in NJ to rank in more than one subspecialty in the 13th annual Best Children’s Hospital rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

“We are extremely proud of our physicians and team members who demonstrate day after day their dedication to the world-class care they provide, and are committed to offering patients more options and innovative treatments,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and executive vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health.  

“Our team at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital remains committed to delivering the highest level of patient- and family-centered care,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., clinical director, Children’s Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health and physician in chief, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “We are proud of this national recognition of the state-of-the-art medical and surgical care delivered by the Neurology and Neurosurgery teams, led by Ariel Sherbany, M.D., Ph.D., and of all the many pediatric subspecialties and team members throughout the Children’s Hospital that contribute to the healing environment and excellent outcomes for our pediatric patients.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings are the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals.

“I congratulate the teams at the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital and Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital for this significant recognition,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Our combined pediatric cancer program allows us to offer more state-of-the-art treatment options to our patients in their own community, which is a vital benefit for both children and their families.”

“This national ranking of our combined pediatric cancer program at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital speaks to the continued efforts of our physicians, nurses and team members who are focused every day on consistently providing excellent care for our patients,” said William Faverzani, vice president and senior operations officer for Children’s Enterprise at Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are not only providing the best cancer treatment at our children’s hospitals, we are determined to find a cure as well.”

The Children’s Cancer Institute is home to Tackle Kids Cancer, a philanthropic initiative that is dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Funds raised via Tackle Kids Cancer support pediatric cancer research and innovative patient care programs.  Only four percent of government cancer funding is allocated to pediatric research and innovative patient care programs.

“The Best Children's Hospitals rankings were designed to help provide families seeking the best medical care for their sick child with access to the most comprehensive data available,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of Health Analysis at U.S. News. “The rankings, coupled with guidance from pediatricians, help families make better-informed decisions about where to find high-quality, compassionate care for their children when they need it most.”

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.

This year’s rankings will be published in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2020” guidebook (ISBN 9781931469937), available in stores mid-September.  For more information, visit Best Children’s Hospitals for the full rankings. 

Also, the New York Daily News’ “New York’s Best Children’s Hospitals” was released.  Hackensack Meridian Health children’s hospitals are included in the top 10 in the New York Metro area with the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital listed as #6 and the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital tied for #7.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

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