We don't have room to profile every hospital in the Sunshine State, but we can look at a few standouts:
Shands Hospital - the facility at the University of Florida in Gainesville is the flagship of the eight-hospital Shands system and UF's primary medical teaching facility. The UF hospital is a leading referral center and one of the most comprehensive medical facilities in the Southeast, specializing in tertiary and quaternary care for the critically ill. Translation: this is where you go when your hometown hospital can't help you.
The first open-heart surgery in Florida was performed at Shands-UF many years ago, while the transplant center is nationally ranked as one of the busiest and most successful in the nation. As an academic facility, Shands-UF is frequently the first in the state or even the nation to pioneer complex medical procedures.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa - the only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida. The hospital, which opened in 1986, focuses solely on preventing and curing cancer.
Florida Hospital - a Seventh-day Adventist hospital network based in Orlando. The main hospital is a local acute-care facility as well as a major tertiary facility for much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and South America.
Orlando Regional Medical Center/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center - a multi-campus facility made up of several Orlando-area regional hospitals. It also includes M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the first and largest affiliate of the world-renowned Houston-based center of the same name, and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women, one of only six hospitals in the nation to focus on the needs children and women. The main hospital's trauma center is the only Level I trauma center in Central Florida.
Pan American Hospital, Miami - started by a group of doctors from Cuba, it specializes in acute and elder care.
Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital, Delray Beach - in addition to other rehab services, it offers a driving program designed to get people with physical, strength, coordination, vision or other difficulties back on the road.
Medical Center Bayonet Point, Hudson - this relatively small (290
beds) hospital that's not in a major metro area has one of the best cardiac
units in the nation, according to a number of impartial yardsticks. U.S.
News & World Report, which does an annual ranking of the best hospitals
around the country, placed it at number 27.