By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
According to U.S. News Best Hospital Ranking for 2012-2013, Winchester Medical Center was rated the sixth best overall hospital in the state and the top hospital in the Shenandoah Valley.
In years past, the ranking only included facilities located in major metropolitan areas and academic hospitals. In January, U.S. News & World Report extended the rankings to an additional 247 hospitals outside of the metropolitan areas, like the one in Winchester.
Out of 12 specialty areas that were analyzed, Winchester Medical Center was rated as "high performing" in eight. In January, the hospital was high performing in five specialties, and added three newly recognized areas: neurology & neurosurgery, nephrology and gastroenterology.
Mark Schroeder, practicing physician and president of Winchester Medical Center's medical staff, said he was "very pleased" with the rankings.
"This is a tremendous compliment to the medical and support staff as a whole," he said. Two of the recognized areas were diabetes & endocrinology and geriatrics.
"Nationwide, there's a shortage of endocrinologists and geriatricians," Schroeder said. "And we are just like the rest of the country when it comes to that. The fact that we were still rated as high performing in those areas speaks volumes of the staff that we do have and how seriously we take patient care."
Schroeder also pointed out that patient health concerns often overlap among specialty areas, but "for specific physicians in these fields, the ranking is a recognition of what they do."
Other areas where Winchester Medical Center excelled were pulmonology, crology, and ear, nose and throat
VCU Medical Center ranked No. 1 in the state, followed by Inova Fairfax, Sentara Norfolk General, UVA Medical Center and Inova Alexandria.