AURORA - The people at Children's Hospital have something new to brag about, after making the list of 10 best children's hospitals in the country as determined by Parents Magazine.

Children's was ranked fifth. The news was announced on NBC's Today Show. The editors of Parents Magazineexplained their choice in this online posting:

Last year, the first pill to treat an underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) hit the market, thanks to initial testing at Children's Hospital Colorado. "I burst into tears of gratitude when I heard about it," says Jennifer Heinicke, whose 8-year-old daughter, Annelise, was diagnosed with CF during a routine newborn screening.

The medication, called Kalydeco, targets a genetic mutation that interferes with the transport of chloride in some patients. "It worked beyond my wildest dreams," says Frank Accurso, M.D., head of the hospital's pulmonology department, who is now testing a combo of Kalydeco and another medication that would potentially help up to half of the patients with CF.

Since Annelise started taking the tablet last Valentine's Day, she hasn't missed school because of breathing problems and has been playing soccer, hiking, and tap dancing. Says Jennifer: "I can barely keep up with her."

More Genius Ideas

•Is studying horse therapy to help kids with autism.
•Offers one of the largest pediatric-heart-tissue- banks in the world.

Hospital Attributes

•$30 million or more spent on research annually
•Private NICU rooms with less noise and more space
•Magnet Nursing Status, the highest level of care
•10 or more experimental cancer studies
•85% survival rate or higher for tricky heart surgeries
•Average waits of an hour or less in the E.R.

Children's organized a watch party for the announcement in the atrium of the hospital's Aurora location. Robin Doerr, Executive Director of Marketing & Communication for Children's said the ranking was a true honor, and will add to the hospital's other achievements. "We're very proud of our staff," Doerr explained.

The #1 ranking went to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for its leadership in kids' cancer research. The magazine said that besides pioneering a successful treatment for the sickest leukemia patients, itdeveloped a way to wipe out certain types of neuroblastoma and lymphoma with a single pill.

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