Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health Named a Best Children’s Hospital for Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Gastroenterology

Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health has earned U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of Top 50 Best Children’s Hospitals in the nation for Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery and Pediatric Gastroenterology & GI Surgery. This marks the first year these programs have been included in the Top 50 list.

The publication’s annual ranking system, now in its 16th year, is designed to assist families and their physicians in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions. The rankings are measured by key areas including surgical outcomes, quality, patient experience and peer reputation.

“As the leader in pediatric care for Oklahoma and the region, we are incredibly proud that these two specialties are recognized as the nation’s most elite,” said Richard Lofgren, M.D., MPH, OU Health CEO and president. “This acknowledgment from U.S. News & World Report reflects the dedication of our highly skilled care teams, who put the patient first in everything they do.”

Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated children’s hospital in the state. From advanced surgical services to general pediatrics, oncology care and more, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital patients have access to cutting-edge research and treatments through hospital-based and outpatient services.

The leaders of these programs include: Harold Burkhart, M.D., cardiothoracic surgery; Arshid Mir, M.D., pediatric cardiology; Muhammad Altaf, M.D., pediatric gastroenterology; and Catherine Hunter, M.D., pediatric surgery.

 “These physician leaders have built incredible programs at our hospital,” said Cameron Mantor, M.D., OU Health Chief Physician Executive, Children’s Division. “They are each nationally respected in their fields, which has allowed them to recruit the best teams in the nation.”

Oklahoma Children’s Hospital’s cardiology team includes experienced pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons using advanced surgical technologies and minimally invasive techniques and clinical trials. The cardiac surgery team performs more than 500 surgeries each year, and the number of children who survive open-heart surgery — 98.8% — stands above the national average, regardless of the surgery’s complexity.

The comprehensive pediatric cardiology program at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital cares for all children and adults with pediatric and acquired heart disease in the state. The team conducts more than 10,000 clinic visits a year for patients referred to the programs throughout Oklahoma. Services include a nationally-accredited imaging program with echocardiography and fetal echocardiography services, advanced MRI and CT imaging systems, a Hybrid cath lab for interventional programs and more.

The gastroenterology team at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital conducts more than 12,000 clinic visits and 1,800 procedures a year and participates in multiple research studies and multi-center clinical drug trials, making it the largest referral center in the state.

Specialized gastroenterology programs include Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liver Transplant, Intestinal Rehabilitation, Aerodigestive Disorders, Gastrointestinal Motility, Fatty Liver and Cystic Fibrosis. The gastroenterology program offers one of only a few Transnasal Awake endoscopy and GI Motility disorders centers in the nation and is the founding member center of Improve Care Now, an International IBD Collaborative Quality Improvement network.

“In my more than 40 years in healthcare, I have had the opportunity to work with several nationally recognized programs,” Lofgren said. “I am not surprised to see us achieve these rankings and I fully expect to see additional programs at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital added to the list in years to come.”



At Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, staff blends years of training with education, research and technology to improve the lives of women and children throughout the region. The Oklahoma Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit provides the highest level of newborn care in Oklahoma. An embedded service within the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is the Women’s and Newborn Service, which is a regional referral center for the state, providing prenatal and delivery care for pregnancies ranging from low-risk to the most complicated. Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is also home to the only 24/7 pediatric emergency room in Oklahoma City. With a family-centered approach to healing, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital offers resources from pet therapy to child life specialists who help families cope with hospitalization and illness. From advanced surgical services to general pediatrics, oncology care and more, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital provides cutting-edge research and treatments through hospital-based and outpatient services. To learn more, visit oklahomachildrens.org.


OU Health is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. The flagship academic healthcare system is the clinical partner of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, one of the most comprehensive academic and research campuses in the country. With 10,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest doctor network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health’s oncology program at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center was named Oklahoma’s top facility for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 rankings. OU Health also was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in these specialties: Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit ouhealth.com.