University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is listed among the nation’s best in seven specialties in the 2022-23 “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings published online today by U.S. News & World Report. 

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital—Iowa’s only nationally ranked children’s hospital—ranked in the following areas: 

  • 26 in neonatology 
  • 38 in pediatric cancer 
  • 23 in pediatric diabetes and endocrinology 
  • 27 in pediatric nephrology 
  • 38 in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery 
  • 36 in pediatric orthopedics 
  • 50 in pediatric pulmonology 


Pamela Johnson-Carlson, portrait
Pamela Johnson-Carlson, DNP, RN, NE-BC

“Finding ourselves ranked yet again among the nation’s best children’s hospitals is a true honor that points to the exceptional care all of our providers give to all of our patients,” says Pamela Johnson-Carlson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, chief administrative officer of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “This recognition is a testament to the dedication and commitment our teams bring to work with them every single day.” 

The annual “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings and ratings, now in their 16th year, are designed to assist families and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions. 

Alexander Bassuk portrait
Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD

“We are so proud of our entire pediatric team. These U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect our efforts in all aspects of our mission: clinical excellence, teaching, and research,” says Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD, physician-in-chief of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and chair and departmental executive officer of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics in the UI Carver College of Medicine. “We are focused on this mission to improve the lives of children in Iowa and beyond, and it is wonderful to see the rankings reflect everyone’s tremendous efforts. To continue this rich tradition of being listed among the nation’s best children’s hospitals is something for which we are all extremely proud.” 

For 2022-23, U.S. News ranked the top 50 centers in each of these 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology. For the second year, the “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings featured expanded offerings that include state rankings and multistate regional rankings. 

Choosing the right hospital for a sick child is a critical decision for many parents. The ‘Best Children’s Hospitals’ rankings spotlight hospitals that excel in specialized care.

Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News.

The “Best Children's Hospitals” methodology factors objective measures such as patient outcomes, including mortality and infection rates, as well as health equity and available clinical resources and compliance with best practices. To calculate the “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings, U.S. News gathered relevant data from children’s hospitals in early 2022 and from pediatric physicians and other health care organizations as well as available clinical resources, compliance with best practices, and efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion among patients and staff in 2022.  

RTI International, a North Carolina-based research and consulting firm, collected and analyzed data from 119 children’s hospitals and surveyed thousands of pediatric specialists. More than 100 pediatric specialists and other experts provided input through methodology working groups.  

For more information, visit Best Children’s Hospitals for the full rankings and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.