UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare’s University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital remains the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and the Bluegrass Region, according to the U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals Rankings.

In addition, four major health care areas have achieved top 50 national rankings, three of them for the first time. UK HealthCare rankings included: #50 in Cancer, #44 in Neurology and Neurosurgery, #43 in Geriatrics, and #37 in Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Along with the Top 50 rankings, UK HealthCare is ranked as high-performing in five other adult specialties – Gastroenterology and GI Surgery; Nephrology; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; and Urology. Additionally, the health care system was designated high performing in eight common adult procedures and conditions:  Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, and Lung Cancer Surgery.

This year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings cover nearly every hospital in every community nationwide. According to survey officials, the rankings are grounded in objective data and offer patients a deep, rich resource on their hospital choices. Over 70 percent of the rankings are based on objective data, with U.S. News analyzing more than 2,600 metrics across 21 data-driven specialties and procedures and conditions. The result is thousands of data points on hospitals that excel at treating the most challenging cases, those that do best in more routine procedures, like knee replacements, and those that provide top local care.

Cancer care was included in the top 50 for the first time — although it has consistently been designated as High Performing for many years. Still, the move up is indicative of the Markey Cancer Center’s continued emphasis on providing exemplary care as the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated center.

“We see 50 percent of our patients coming from Eastern Kentucky which has some of the highest rates of cancer in the country — particularly lung cancer and colon cancer. So, the Markey Cancer Center is vitally important to our region,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the Markey Cancer Center.

Since 2016, UK HealthCare has gone from one specialty top-50 ranking — Geriatrics, which moved up two spots from #45 to #43 — to having four major adult specialties nationally ranked.

In acknowledging all of UK HealthCare’s national rankings and achievements, one common factor is always first to be attributed to success — the people who work there.

“I've been here almost a year and a half and to see what the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare has achieved, really in a short time is remarkable,” said UK College of Medicine Dean Dr. Robert DiPaola. “And to see the passion of the people here behind the scenes doing the things that make a difference for our patients — it is absolutely amazing. I know that going forward, we will continue this trajectory.”

Today, UK HealthCare draws the most acutely ill patients needing advanced subspecialty care from across Kentucky and beyond. At the same time, our rapidly growing outreach network supports services at many of Kentucky’s hospitals, helping keep patients close to their homes for both routine and specialty care, as well as many subspecialty procedures. As a result, UK HealthCare’s patient volume, a benchmark used by academic medical centers, climbed from the 25th percentile to greater than the 75th percentile in the nation during the decade.

Inpatient discharges jumped from 19,664 in fiscal year 2004 to more than 36,000 in 2015. As planned, the overall complexity of patient cases also increased. UK HealthCare is now reaching – and caring for – those patients in Kentucky and its bordering counties most in need of advanced care.

Our stable financial footing continues to underwrite an impressive physical transformation of our Lexington campus and beyond:

  • Pavilion A of Albert B. Chandler Hospital opened in 2011 with two complete patient floors, adult and pediatric emergency departments and a 30,000-square-foot atrium
  • The 8th floor opened for cardiology patients in 2014
  • Final work on the 9th and 10th floors began in 2015, adding 128 beds dedicated to neurology and advanced technologies
  • In March 2015, the UK Board of Trustees approved completion work for the 11th floor, which will mean 64 patient beds
  • UK HealthCare at Turfland, an outpatient services center conveniently located on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington, opened in March 2015
  • In early 2015, officials broke ground on a new Shriners Hospital for Children, a $47 million, five-story building on the UK campus. The project, scheduled for completion in 2017, deepens our longstanding relationship with Shriners
  • A new six-story research building planned near South Limestone and Virginia Avenue will bring together scientists and physicians from multiple disciplines to address diseases – including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes

Quality and patient satisfaction improved as well. In 2013, UK HealthCare was recognized as a Rising Star by the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), rising an unprecedented 44 spots in the UHC’s annual quality and accountability ranking of its 118 member academic medical centers. In 2014, UK HealthCare was named a Top Performing Hospital by The Joint Commission.

In its research mission, UK HealthCare earned a trio of distinctions in recent years that only a handful of other academic medical centers can match. Researchers secured a $20 million Clinical Translational Science Award in 2011, a $7 million grant to the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging for continued Alzheimer’s disease research and, in 2013, the Markey Cancer Center received designation from the National Cancer Institute. Also, in late 2014, UK researchers received a $14.9 million grant from the federal Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to identify optimal transition approaches as patients move between different levels of care.

In outreach efforts, UK HealthCare continues its leadership role in strengthening hospitals and provider networks throughout Kentucky via affiliation agreements. Today, we boast about 200 such relationships, including stroke care support at St. Claire Regional Medical Center and management of the Eastern State Hospital. Early in 2015, UK HealthCare partnered with Supporting Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)a state and federal initiative to diversify and improve Eastern Kentucky’s economy. The UK College of Medicine also recently partnered with Western Kentucky University and the Medical Center of Bowling Green to meet the rising demand for physicians and care providers across Kentucky. The new satellite training centers will allow the College of Medicine to lead the training of the next generation of care providers in Kentucky.

A new strategic plan unveiled in June 2015 presents an ambitious roadmap to continued growth and strengthening of UK HealthCare’s clinical services, including expansion of our network throughout Kentucky and beyond, and the establishment of our reputation as a top-tier academic medical center.  

Learn more about UK HealthCare.