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Medical Center's Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders Care Highlighted

SEATTLE - (July 11, 2008) — Virginia Mason Medical Center is one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of America's Best Hospitals. Virginia Mason is one of seven hospitals on the West Coast included in the elite 2008 GI disorders ranking.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the nation's top medical centers and analyzes 16 specialties every year. The categories include cancer; gastroenterology; ear, nose and throat; endocrinology; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology. Scores assess quality, reputation, mortality ratios and care-related factors, such as nursing and patient services. Only 170 medical centers were included in even a single specialty this year.

Richard Kozarek, MD, executive director of the Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason said, "Delivering high-quality care for our patients is the focus of everything we do. We're honored to make the grade for the fifth year in America's Best Hospitals for gastrointestinal disorders. This recognition speaks to the incredible surgical advances in the area of digestive disease, and important screening and diagnostics steps we use to help patients, as well as the phenomenal teamwork we deploy. Patients all over the world come to Virginia Mason to receive gastrointestinal care from our interdisciplinary medical team."
Virginia Mason offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic gastroenterologic services, and has received world-wide attention because of excellent survival results for colon, esophageal and pancreatic cancer patients. Virginia Mason provides expertise in advanced techniques, such as endoscopic destruction of early esophageal cancer in high-risk patients, and treatments for unresectable biliary cancers, as well as many others. The clinical team uses a variety of investigational medications and procedures for severe reflux, inflammatory bowel disease and gut-motility disorders.

"Talent and money alone don't put hospitals in the rankings," said Avery Comarow, Best Hospitals editor. "The truly best hospitals are never satisfied," he said. "Of course they have high medical standards. But the emphasis is not only on doing well, but always doing better."

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health-care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety.

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