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Washington Regional Medical Center is the top hospital in the state for the third year in a row and the best in the Ozark region for a fifth year, according to the latest ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News, which also ranks the nation’s best schools and places to live, evaluates thousands of hospitals based on patient outcome data, staffing, physician referrals and other measures. Washington Regional was designated “high-performing” in a dozen categories, including maternity care, lung cancer and heart attacks, meaning its rate of success was in the top 10% of hospitals evaluated.

“Washington Regional’s vision is to be both the best place for our patients to receive care and the best place for our team members to give that care.” Washington Regional President and CEO Larry Shackelford said in a news release.

“Washington Regional has led the way in high quality health care in Northwest Arkansas since 1950, and these national rankings show that once again, Arkansans can count on Washington Regional to provide high-performing care for many of the most serious health conditions affecting our population,” he added. “This recognition honors the outstanding expertise and compassionate care provided by our medical, nursing and support staff team members and demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of people in the communities we serve in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding region.”

Mercy Northwest Arkansas was also designated a high-performing hospital in six procedures and conditions, including heart attacks, heart bypass surgery and kidney failure.

The Northwest Arkansas Council for years has worked with hospitals, clinics and other providers in a region-wide effort to improve care and provide more health services close to home. Local health care systems are in the midst of investing hundreds of millions of dollars into new facilities and more providers.

Besides building out its maternal care and other specialties over the past decade, Washington Regional has also partnered with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to create scores of new physician residency slots, a necessary step in doctors’ medical training and a top priority for the Council.

“This designation brings to light how investments in new and better modes of health care bring real, tangible benefits both to individual patients and the entire region,” said Ryan Cork, executive director of the Council’s health care transformation division. “The Council looks forward to continuing to partner with Washington Regional and others to improve access to high-quality medical care throughout Northwest Arkansas.”

Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: