Mark S. Bleiweis, M.D., director of the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, credits the cardiology and heart surgery ranking to several factors. One of those is achieving high-quality patient outcomes while also taking on highly complex cases and a large volume of procedures. Teamwork is another factor.
“This is a recognition of the extreme dedication, hard work and creativity among many people. They are all dedicated to the same vision of providing the highest levels of innovation and patient care,” he said.
In addition to patient outcomes and volumes, Bleiweis said he is proud of efforts to develop advanced therapies for heart failure patients and research that has focused on single ventricle defects.
Sreekala Prabhakaran, M.D., interim chief of the pediatric pulmonary division, said the department’s historically high ranking is a result of a long-standing commitment to patient care through multidisciplinary programs for neuromuscular diseases and severe asthma. Several subspecialties, including the severe asthma program, neuromuscular disease and cystic fibrosis programs, use a family-centered, culturally appropriate approach to develop individualized treatment plans for children. A medical-legal team, which helps to address barriers to care, is also embedded in the severe asthma program. This is the fourth consecutive year pulmonology is ranked among the nation’s top 30 programs.
“Staying among the nation’s very best pulmonary programs requires an intense amount of dedication across our entire team,” Prabhakaran said. “That is evident every day as we approach patient care, physician training and medical research with determination and vigor.”
In diabetes and endocrinology, the division continues to build on its well-established national and international reputation for exceptional care, research, education and advocacy in Type 1 diabetes, said Michael J. Haller, M.D., a professor and chief of pediatric endocrinology.
The division also has a thriving metabolic program that uses individualized assessments of the underlying conditions that lead to obesity and pairs it with tailored therapy focused on healthier lifestyles.
One new initiative involves working on bringing telemedicine kiosks to UF/IFAS agricultural extension offices in rural, underserved counties. That, Haller said, will open up health care access to children without internet access at home. UF Health continues to be a world leader in comprehensive care for children with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic condition that causes low muscle tone and early-onset weight gain and can lead to extreme appetites later in childhood. Haller said that expertise has broader implications because pharmaceutical companies are often interested in working with Prader-Willi patients to study potential obesity treatments.