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In June, U.S. News & World Report honored Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals, placing six of our specialties in the top 15, and nine additional specialties in the top 40.

However, being a world-class hospital is about more than once-a-year rankings. Here, some of the families and individuals who see Packard Children’s in action, day in and day out, share their personal perspectives about what “the best” means to them:

"It was all the little things—Roger at the welcome desk who greeted us daily by name; the security guards who, after Audrey was born, took time to print my husband a new badge that no longer read ‘visitor’ but ‘parent’; the nurses who looked after us; and the chief resident we affectionately called ‘Dr. Sparkly’ because of her endless smile. On our last day, Dr. El-Sayed asked me, ‘Do you think we managed your care well, and is there anything we could have done better?’ Amazing… he works tirelessly and understood my rare condition, and was still asking what he could do better… no ego, just humility and sincere care.” — Nicole Neal and her daughter Audrey (above) both received care at Packard through a complicated pregnancy and premature birth.

“For me, Packard Children’s is the best because it is a place where science, education, and compassion merge seamlessly—where mothers, newborns, and children are cared for under one roof, and where patients from communities both local and global are served with dedication and integrity.”— Yasser El-Sayed, MD, (above) is obstetrician-in-chief at Packard Children's.

“Our kids received costumes and took part in the Trick-or-Treat Trail on Halloween, and were able to see Santa at Christmas. When the Child Life team found out our kids were piano players, they located and provided a keyboard for them to play in our hospital room. These special touches allowed our kids to just be kids during a difficult time away from home.” — Stacy Bingham and her family spent nearly a year at Packard Children’s, where two of her daughters received heart transplants.

“We greatly value the culture of caring. Packard Children’s has become an integral part of our life and it enriches us every time we volunteer and spend time there.”— Pat Rice and Claire Fitzgerald (above) are psychologists consulting at Stanford and have volunteered at Packard Children’s for more than 16 years.

“I am so proud to work at Packard Children’s. The nurses are incredible. Their dedication to our patients is amazing. Our physicians are the best in the world. And the support staff is on a mission to make our patients’ hospital stays as easy as possible. Spend some time here, and your heart will be touched.” — Peggy Creamier is the operations manager in materials management at Packard Children’s.

“The nurses made our delivery at Packard that much more special. Looking back at those first few hours and days with our baby girl, we are grateful to the nursing staff for the care they provided. As first-time parents, their kindness and guidance was invaluable.”— Michelle Heeseman and Eric Altman (above) recently delivered their daughter, Patria, at Packard Children’s.

"The opportunity to learn from the best. A parent recently told me that her daughter would be the first member of their familiy to survive a heart condition that had afflicted her family for generations. It was amazing to be part of giving this to her family."— Loren Sacks, MD, (above) is a pediatric critical care fellow.

“I like the ‘Cars’ prize I got after my needle. I like the cartoons and the video games ‘cause if they weren’t there I’d be bored. I like the nurses. They help me and they’re nice and they’re pretty.” — Logan, 7, and his twin sister Taylor receive ongoing care at Packard Children’s.