Soliant Health’s 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the U.S. Rankings for 2009

by Ryan Winter on May 14, 2009

America’s 5,000+ medical centers range from scary to acceptable to a scant few that raise the bar for what healthcare should be.

A February 2009 survey by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health found that – duh – happy hospitals make happy patients.

So what makes a happy hospital? Staff morale and attention to patients’ needs topped the list, but another factor was how the hospital actually looked.

Since there’s no scientific way to rank hospitals by “prettiness”, take a look at these 20 visions of what could be the most gorgeous places in America to be sick…

  1. Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland
    John Hopkins

    America’s #1-ranked hospital is also the only beautiful building on our list over 15 years old…heck over 100 years old. Plus a stay there looks to be like a night in Cinderella’s castle.

  2. Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, Los Angeles
    Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center

    The striking façade of this California clinic earned it a reoccurring role as the exterior setting of Seattle Grace Hospital on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy.

  3. Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, Everett, Washington
    Providence Regional Cancer Partnership

    Fancy a few soothing backlit deep sea creatures swimming overhead at your next MRI? Go West!

  4. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey
    Jersey Medical Center

    One of the area’s newest medical centres is also the last place you’ll see the boxy lines and harsh lighting of traditional hospitals.

  5. Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
    Moran Eye Center

    Head to Utah and see the light…after complex eye surgery. (Or just gaze upon this award-winning building in the morning twilight.)

  6. St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri
    St. Louis Children's Hospital

    A new green rooftop garden sports an acre of landscaped splendour, including water features and sculpture-art kids can actually play with.

  7. Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware
    Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

    Dazzling domes full of luminescent stars in the hallways conjure-up images of the Hogwarts Great Hall ceiling from Harry Potter. What kid wouldn’t want to stay here??

  8. Midwest Cancer Center, Omaha, Nebraska
    Midwest Cancer Center

    If it’s a starry sky you want, check out any clear night in Nebraska, or one of the medical imaging rooms in this Omaha facility.

  9. Florida Hospital, Waterman, Tavares, Florida
    Florida Hospital

    Tent-like roofing over part of this Central Florida hospital make you feel like you’re at some sort of high-rolling outdoor event straight out of a CSI: Miami episode…hopefully with a lower murder rate.

  10. Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Palmer, Alaska
    Mat-Su General

    Yes, it’s cold in Alaska…sometimes. Roaring flames in public areas of this far northern hospital emerge from beautifully designed fireplaces.

  11. Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center, Santa Clara, California
    Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center

    The last thing you want to do in a hospital is stay in the hospital. Airy courtyards throughout this facility let patients and visitors stroll through nature while still onsite.

  12. Midwest Surgical Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
    Midwest Surgical

    No, this isn’t a hotel suite. But the bold design of this surgical facility rivals anything at the Hilton.

  13. Children’s Healthcare, Atlanta, Georgia
    Children's Healthcare

    Children’s hospitals tend to be among the best looking medical facilities: That’s because kids’ hospitals are a new idea and often benefit from the latest design and architecture ideas.

  14. Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, Illinois
    Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

    Sometimes just a different way of seeing things can be a great benefit. Here, a circular two-level courtyard helps soothe the senses of recovering patients.

  15. WakeMed Apex Healthplex, Apex, North Carolina
    Wakemed North Healthplex

    Jutting out onto a human-made lake full of exotic fowl and fountains, it’s hard to remember what you’re even in the hospital for.

  16. University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, New Jersey
    University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

    Though not-yet-built, this state-of-the-art facility will be one of America’s most attractive even if it’s half as snazzy as the artist’s sketches of this now-underway construction project.

  17. Sacred Heart Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon
    Sacred Heart Medical Center

    One of the Northwest’s largest hospitals, this cozy design came about when the facility was rebuilt as “a clean slate” according to its web site.

  18. Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George Utah
    Dixie Regional Medical Center

    The view says it all: How sick can you stay looking at these gorgeous mountain vistas?

  19. Baylor Medical at Frisco, Texas
    Baylor Medical at Frisco, Texas

    If it weren’t so dang bad for you, you’d likely want to break out a glass of Cognac and fine cigars in the posh public areas of this Dallas-area medical center.

  20. California Academy of Science
    California Academy of Science

    Honorary-mention: Though the rainforest core of this building isn’t actually a medical center, it shows the extreme end of the spectrum for what’s possible in bringing healthy design and attractive interiors into spaces notorious for being anything-but.

What are your thoughts? Are there some absolutely stunning hospitals we’ve missed?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tera 05.14.09 at 3:22 pm

The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville should be on this list as well! It opened a year ago, and is absolutely amazing! It looks nicer than most hotels. It has terrazzo floors, soothing water fountains, and large hospital rooms with sleeper sofas for guests, room service, and on-demand videos. The hospital lobby even has a one-of-a-kind blown-glass chandelier by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly (same as the glass sculpture in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas).

John 05.14.09 at 3:52 pm

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, also in Jacksonville, should be on the list because of this urban riverfront park right in the middle of it’s campus. It’s beautiful.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/1080/117/

Carolee 05.14.09 at 4:25 pm

The Huntsman Cancer Institute and Hospital – just around the corner from the John A. Moran Eye Center. Also an absolutely beautiful building. Marble entryway, a breathtaking view, and patient rooms that are more beautiful than the average home – even the bathrooms!!!!

InterActive Health 05.14.09 at 5:25 pm

Several beautiful facilities are seen here. The New Univeristy of Colorado hospital is fabulous as well. I agree the Huntsman Institute is amazing.

Baltimoregal 07.02.09 at 11:05 am

Not to mention that Johns Hopkins Hospital was the first research hospital in the United States! And the first coeducational graduate level medical school in the country. I’m very proud of where I work.
http://johnshopkins.edu/

Gary J Lukaszewski 07.23.09 at 4:27 pm

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – Portland, Oregon; should be included as 21 on this list.

Nancy A Garrett 08.13.09 at 12:07 am

Regarding Number 17, Sacred Heart Medical Center (at RiverBend)…the inside is grand and gorgeous, like a wonderful lodge. Additionally, many of the all-private patient rooms overlook the beautiful McKenzie River and the surrounding Coburg Hills. The city view at night on the other side, isn’t bad, either!

kelly garrison 08.13.09 at 3:00 pm

PROUD to work @ Wake Med!!!!!! I have traveled to hospitals all across this wonderful nation of ours, and Wake Med is the ONLY place I wanted to call “HOME”!!!

AL 08.14.09 at 3:13 pm

Props for Midwest Surgical Hospital. This place isnt just beautiful though, it is also one of the best places to work as well with high class service for patients

Alison Hong 09.08.09 at 11:44 am

Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT is absolutely beautiful. Patient and environmentally friendly. Beautiful rooms and public spaces. They were recognized by the engineering association for their energy saving initiatives.

Tamika Jones 09.23.09 at 1:17 am

I am proud to be a part of the healthcare team at Florida Hospital Waterman. This is one of the most beautiful healthcare facilities I have ever seen. To design the floors using the expertise and opinions of some our own nurses has made life a lot easier for our staff. I believe that Waterman is a piece of architechtural and nursing genius and I am glad that it is being recognized.

Steve 10.14.09 at 1:31 pm

“Though not-yet-built, this state-of-the-art facility will be one of America’s most attractive even if it’s half as snazzy as the artist’s sketches of this now-underway construction project.”

Come on – what gives here? Anyone can give you pictures, shouldn’t you wait and see what it actually looks like when it’s done?

Sarah 01.12.10 at 11:11 pm

Banner Gateway in Gilbert AZ is gorgeous. Beautiful woodwork and views to the gardens.

Lisa 02.04.10 at 5:16 pm

Johnston Health has two gorgeous new facilities in NC, Johnston Medical Center – Clayton and Johnston Medical Center – Smithfield.

mary 07.09.10 at 2:20 pm

St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend, Wisconsin blends right into its hilly, rural landscape. It is a prairie-style building with a massive, open lobby and a huge fireplace.

Sarah 03.04.11 at 2:07 am

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, Ca.
Beautiful hospital, complete with skylights, an indoor koi pond, a waterfall, roses, newly renovated/built rooms, not to mention state of the art medical care and top of the line doctors.

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