Newsweek ranks Health First's Cape Canaveral Hospital among nation's best

·4 min read

Health First Inc.’s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach has been named to Newsweek magazine's “World’s Best Hospitals 2022” list for U.S. hospitals.

It is the only one of the seven general hospitals in Brevard County to make the list, and is one of 18 Florida hospitals on the list.

Cape Canaveral Hospital was ranked No. 249 nationally out of the 420 hospitals on the list. In all, there are more than 6,000 hospitals in the United States.

Nurse Anne Vatalaro confers with hospitalist Dr. Soo Nam at Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.
Nurse Anne Vatalaro confers with hospitalist Dr. Soo Nam at Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.

The Newsweek rankings are based partly on responses to an online survey sent to nearly 80,000 medical experts — including physicians, hospital managers and other health care professionals — in 27 countries. The medical professionals were not allowed to recommend their own employers.

Every hospital in each country was rated by a score, which is based on:

  • Recommendations of the medical experts.

  • Results from patient experience surveys. Publicly available data from existing patient surveys was used to analyze patient experience. Patient surveys typically are conducted by insurance companies among patients after hospitalization. Examples of survey topics include: general satisfaction with hospital, recommendation of hospital and satisfaction with medical care.

  • Medical key performance indicators on hospitals, such as data on quality of treatment and hygiene measures. Examples include data on quality of care for specific treatments; data on hygiene measures and patient safety; and data on number of patients per doctors and per nurse.

Brett Esrock, chief executive officer of Health First's hospital services division, said he believe this is the first time that a Health First hospital has made Newsweek's listing.

"It's very exciting," Esrock said. "It's quite an honor to be recognized by Newsweek. This recognition is not only a tremendous honor for Cape Canaveral Hospital, but for the entire Health First system. To be honored and recognized on this national platform will only serve to drive us all toward even greater levels of quality, care and achievement on behalf of the community we serve."

Intensive care unit nurse Aretha Daley-Matanis puts on personal protective equipment before treating a COVID-19 patient inside Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.
Intensive care unit nurse Aretha Daley-Matanis puts on personal protective equipment before treating a COVID-19 patient inside Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.

Esrock said the ranking is "a great recognition for the associates and physicians and volunteers who work there."

The six-story, 150-bed Cape Canaveral Hospital — which opened in 1962 — has more than 200 full-time attending physicians, 600 associates and 150 volunteers. The hospital has more than 50 medical specialties, including cardiology, labor and delivery, radiology and women’s diagnostics.

New hospital coming to Merritt Island: Health First updates plans for 'wellness villages' for Melbourne, Merritt Island

Among the top employers: Health First ranked by Forbes as among top 500 large employers in the country

Cape Canaveral Hospital was ranked No. 11 among the 18 Florida hospitals on the list. The highest-ranked Florida hospital on the list was Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville (No. 18 nationwide). The highest-ranked Central Florida hospital was AdventHealth-Orlando (No. 174 nationwide).

Nurses Jennifer Royce and Patrick Noone discuss a patient’s status in the Progressive Care Unit at Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.
Nurses Jennifer Royce and Patrick Noone discuss a patient’s status in the Progressive Care Unit at Health First Inc.'s Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach.

These were the top five hospitals nationwide:

  1. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

  2. Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.

  3. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

  4. The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

  5. UCLA Health/Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In discussing the rankings, Nancy Cooper, global editor-in-chief for Newsweek, said: "The medical community has been under an unprecedented level of stress over the past two years, and the ability to consistently maintain excellence is a testament to everyone working in this area. This list is meant to identify quality care and provide a guide for patients and their families."

In all, Newsweek placed more than 2,200 hospitals from 27 countries on its 2022 best hospitals lists for various countries, which has been compiled for the last four years.

Newsweek also compiled a "global top 150" list of hospitals, on which 21 countries are represented. The United States leads with 33 hospitals on that list, followed by Germany with 14; Italy and France with 10 each; and South Korea with eight. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, headed that list, too

The rankings were developed in partnership with data research firm Statista Inc.

Health First plans to relocate Cape Canaveral Hospital from its current site off State Road 520 in Cocoa Beach to a new site off State Road 520, across the road from Merritt Square mall. The new hospital will be part of a "wellness village" of medical offices and other facilities.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2023, and the 120-bed hospital and wellness village on a 14-acre site is expected to be completed in 2025. After the new hospital opens, the current Cape Canaveral Hospital will close.

"This is a massive project, and is still in the early phases," Esrock said.

The Newsweek hospital ranking is the second major national recognition for Health First this year, Forbes magazine in February named Health First as one of “America’s Best Large Employers.” In that survey of 60,000 U.S. employees, Health First landed No. 407 nationally on the list highlighting organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

Health First operates Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Palm Bay Hospital and Viera Hospital. Its operations also include health insurance plans, a multispecialty medical group, and outpatient and wellness services. The company has about 9,000 employees.

Dave Berman is business editor at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at dberman@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Newsweek ranks Cape Canaveral Hospital among nation's best