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As the president and CEO of a children’s hospital — and a dad — I understand that parents want what is the very best for their child. They diligently research and talk to fellow parents and friends about the top schools and extracurricular activities. They pore over online information regarding the latest toys and kid-friendly gadgets.

However, choosing the best health care provider for their child for any reason — from the routine to the rare condition — is a vetting process that far outweighs any other.

While parents have relied on their family doctor for information, it is increasingly more common for families to conduct extensive research online, and discuss their children’s health needs with friends and family to determine where to seek the best care. Many factors can play into their decision: quality of care, accessibility, condition, organization reputation, other’s experiences, and availability of leading-edge treatments and procedures.

Every June, U.S. News & World Report ranks the best children’s hospitals in America in several important specialties.  The rankings are a guidepost for parents looking for the best care for their family. This report allows families to learn about a hospital’s clinical outcomes, staffing ratios, quality and safety, best practices, care resources and more.

I’m proud that Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford once again received the highest specialty rankings of any Northern California children’s hospital in the just-released 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals survey from U.S. News & World Report. This is the 10th year in a row of U.S. News children’s hospitals rankings that our hospital has earned this distinction.

We ranked nine specialties in this year’s U.S. News survey, with three specialty programs ranked in the nation’s top 10. Those specialties included Nephrology (#7), Cardiology (#8), and Pulmonology (#10). The Nephrology team’s ranking was tops in California, and the Pulmonology group was #1 in California and on the West Coast.

In addition, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford was the only Northern California children’s hospital placing five programs in the top 15, with Neonatology coming in #12 and Gastroenterology at #13. Other specialties highlighted in the U.S. News survey were Cancer, Urology, Neurology, and Diabetes & Endocrinology.

While the Best Children’s Hospital survey is one of many resources for families looking for information on health care providers, we believe it’s one of the best. These top rankings validate our extraordinary care capability, and our dedication to providing a nurturing health care experience for children and expectant mothers.

We know parents have a choice in providers for their child’s health. That’s why we at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health remain steadfast in our belief that our extraordinary staff, Stanford Medicine physicians, treatment protocols, innovative, world-changing research, and our nurturing partnerships with families are the keys to unparalleled care and the best possible outcomes. Our goal is to help every family make an informed choice that ensures extraordinary care for their extraordinary kid, and we believe our decade-long top rankings from the U.S. News Best Children’s Hospital survey is a distinction that helps make that choice possible.