Wolfson Children’s Hospital ranks among best in the country for Pediatric Neurology & Neurosurgery

Press Release


U.S. News & World Report releases annual rankings of Best Children’s Hospitals, a measurement of quality care and outcomes.

Jacksonville, Florida, June 14, 2022 – When Taylor Pappas started getting headaches at 13 years old, she didn’t think too much of it.

“They were actually pretty minor,” the now-24-year-old remembered. “There was just one time at school I went to the nurse’s office because it was really bad, and I think that was the only migraine I’ve ever had.”

But deep down, her mother knew something was wrong. An MRI at Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville revealed a lemon-sized brain tumor for which Pappas would need immediate surgery. Under the care of the expert pediatric neurosurgery team with Wolfson Children’s Walter and Michelle Stys Neuroscience Institute, Pappas would ultimately have four surgeries, followed by proton therapy, before finally being declared tumor-free at age 17.

“When you’re going through something serious, your mentality is so important,” Pappas said. “I was very confident in the team taking care of me and in myself. I never had a doubt I would get past this.”

A child’s brain deserves top-ranked care

In recognition of the expert care provided to children like Pappas every day, U.S. News & World Report named Wolfson Children’s Hospital as one of the top 50 Best Children’s Hospitals in the nation for Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery. Neuroscience services are provided by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, and the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

The multidisciplinary team with the Stys Neuroscience Institute at Wolfson Children’s provides comprehensive care for children ages newborn to 18 with neurological and neurosurgical conditions, ranging from epilepsy and cerebral palsy to traumatic injuries and brain tumors. The co-medical directors of the Stys Neuroscience Institute are pediatric neurosurgeon Philipp Aldana, MD, and pediatric neurologist Raj Sheth, MD.

“The U.S. News recognition is one of the most prestigious a hospital can receive, and we are humbled to be ranked among their Best Children’s Hospitals for another year,” said Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “This is yet another assurance to parents that their children are in the best hands when they receive neurological and neurosurgical care at Wolfson Children’s. Our team’s commitment to clinical excellence, research, education and innovation has improved patient outcomes, which means longer and healthier lives for the children we serve. We’re grateful for our longstanding collaboration with Nemours Children’s and the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, which makes this level of care possible.”

“We at Nemours Children’s Health are proud to partner with Wolfson Children’s Hospital to provide excellent life-changing, specialized care to children,” said Gary Josephson, MD, chief medical officer of Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville. “The U.S. News rankings reflect the excellence of care provided to patients and this recognition is one more stellar example of what teamwork can accomplish.”

Mark Hudak, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, said, “The collaboration among the staff at Wolfson Children’s and with our colleagues at Nemours Children’s allows us to provide the very best care to the children in Northeast Florida and far beyond. When caregivers come together for the common good of a child, lives are changed and saved.”

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.

“Choosing the right hospital for a sick child is a critical decision for many parents,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News. “The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings spotlight hospitals that excel in specialized care.”

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 and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.