Hotel or hospital? The 10 most beautiful US health-care institutions

By Naveed Saleh, MD, MS, for MDLinx
Published December 21, 2018

Key Takeaways

Each year, Soliant, a leading providers of US health care jobs and staffing services, publishes a list of the nation's most beautiful hospitals. In 2018, the list was based on votes from more than 250,000 people.

Here are the top 10 most beautiful US hospitals, according to the Soliant survey.

10. Huntsman Cancer Institute

Salt Lake City, UT—Nestled in the great Salt Lake City Valley, this National Cancer Institute provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The outside of the building is covered in windows so patients and staff can take a few moments respite from their busy days to soak in the surroundings. In addition to state-of-practice treatment options, at any given time, researchers at the institute are engaged in an average of 200 clinical trials, which are open to their Huntsman Cancer Institute patients.

9. Intermountain Medical Center

Murray, UT—Also providing breathtaking views of the Utah mountains, the Intermountain Medical Center takes scenery a step further by incorporating waterfalls and standing ponds into its architecture. Not only has this hospital one of the most beautiful in the United States (and, probably, world) but it was also lauded as a "Best Hospital" by U.S. News and World Report, where it ranked "high-performing" in the specialties of diabetes and endocrinology, nephrology, and pulmonology, as well as procedures including those for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart bypass surgery, and heart failure.

8. Mosaic Life Care

Saint Joseph, MO—Mosaic Life Care is home to tall glass towers that provide vistas of perfectly landscaped, verdant scenery. This hospital is also high tech…it was the first health-care organization in Missouri to join the beta-testing phase for Apple's updated Health Records in the iPhone Health app.

7. Norton Sound Regional Hospital

Nome, AK—Located on the Baltic Sea, Nome, Alaska, is one of the most scenic areas in the world (and home to a modern-day gold rush). Although the Norton Sound Regional Hospital was built for $168 million, it is a small hospital with only 36 beds (that's about $5 million per room!). With all that monetary investment, this hospital, which serves an environs of 10,000 people, boasts the newest in health-care equipment and technology.

6. PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

Springfield, OR—This expansive regional medical center offers tall spacious rooms, high ceilings, skylights, walking trails, and unparalleled vistas of the McKenzie River. The hospital also houses some of the most advanced imaging services available, including single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), gamma cameras utilized for full-body scans and myocardial perfusion imaging, and a d-SPECT imaging system for heart scans.

5. UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA—Originally built in 1890 and now sitting on 10 acres in Pittsburgh's historic Lawrenceville neighborhood, this regal compound is not only structurally appealing but arguably also the best Children's Hospital in the world by any measure. An ambit of stakeholders—including physicians, nurses, and staff—contributed input to the hospital's design. According to the CHOP website: "For our patients and their families, we promise comfort and a healing touch by offering spacious private rooms, in addition to some semi-private rooms when needed (with overnight accommodation for parents) designed with kids in mind, and one of the largest family resource centers of any pediatric hospital in the world. For our staff, we promise a state-of-the-art facility utilizing breakthrough technology, enhanced research facilities and an intelligent design to maximize efficiency in patient care."

4. Riverview Medical Center

Red Bank, NJ—Providing heavenly views of the Navesink River, Riverview Medical Center has been ranked in the top 5 Soliant's Most Beautiful Hospitals more than any other hospital. This impressive facility also offers free concierge service and room service to patients and their families. To boot, it has been recognized as a Best Hospital by U.S. News and World Report, with high-performing designations in orthopedics services, as well as procedures including those for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, and hip replacement.

3. Elmhurst Hospital

Elmhurst, IL—Elmhurst Hospital looks more like a fancy hotel than most fancy hotels do. Its design is modern and inviting, and its grounds bucolic. Private patient rooms come replete with family sleeper sofas, walk-in showers, 42" flat-screen televisions, and room service. Family lounges and kitchens are also available on each floor. Of note, Elmhurst Hospital became the first hospital in Chicagoland to offer molecular breast imaging (MBI), which adds to mammography by detecting breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue.

2. Meadows Regional Medical Center

Vidalia, GA—This masterfully constructed facility offers luxurious wooden floors and wall accents that pay homage to Georgia's farming history. Furthermore, Meadows Regional prides itself on technologically advanced cancer care, life-saving heart attack procedures, women's services, and wound care.

1. Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida

Fort Myers, FL—This hospital is built with an aesthetic meant to please not only children but also the child in all of us. Designers took an avant-garde approach with this one-of-a-kind gem, with indoor and outdoor gardening, as well as multicolored lighting on balconies opening onto the main atrium. This comprehensive, acute-care facility provides state-of-the art technology to providers and patients, which makes sense because it's the only acute care center serving the long stretch between Tampa and Miami.

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