The Leapfrog Group Announces 2020 Top Hospitals and Pandemic Heroes of the Year Awards

December 8, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. –The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers focused on health care safety and quality, today announced two prestigious awards: the annual Top Hospital Award, the Nation’s most elite recognition for hospital excellence, and a new national award honoring pandemic heroes.

For 2020, Leapfrog honors 105 hospitals in four categories in its annual Top Hospital award.  The Leapfrog Pandemic Heroes of the Year recognizes two recipients, Englewood Health in the “team” category, and Sergio Alvarez, RN, in the “individual” category. In addition, 22 individuals and teams across the country are cited with special recognition for heroism during the pandemic. Winners for both awards will be officially recognized at Leapfrog’s Virtual Annual Meeting on December 8, 2020.

“This is an extraordinary year for all of us, but for hospitals, history broke down doors and barged right in,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. In the pandemic, we needed our hospitals to save lives, comfort families, and support communities, schools, and the economy. American hospitals were there for us. It is why Leapfrog holds hospitals to high standards; they are so critical to the future of our country in every way imaginable.”

2020 Leapfrog Top Hospital Award                                                                        

The elite Top Hospital award recognizes the highest quality hospitals as identified through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Less than 5% of all eligible facilities receive the award, widely considered among the most prestigious an American hospital can receive.

Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas were the three states with the most Top Hospitals, with eight or more hospitals in each state receiving the designation. Notably, this year was the first Oklahoma and Connecticut have Top Hospitals since Leapfrog began giving the award in 2006.

“2020 put hospitals nationwide to the test in the most unforeseen and unprecedented ways, so we are particularly proud to recognize excellence in the hospital industry this year,” said Binder. “All hospitals deserve our gratitude and these facilities, in particular, shine. Receiving the Top Hospital award, Leapfrog’s most prestigious and competitive award, should be celebrated. But all facilities that participate with Leapfrog deserve recognition for upholding the highest possible standards for patient care. That’s the level of commitment and transparency all Americans deserve when they entrust their lives to a hospital.”

The 105 Top Hospitals are recognized in four categories: Top Children’s Hospitals (9 recipients), Top General Hospitals (29 recipients), Top Teaching Hospitals (48 recipients) and Top Rural Hospitals (19 recipients). Top Hospitals are represented in the following states:

  • Arizona, 1
  • Arkansas, 1
  • California, 6
  • Colorado, 6
  • Connecticut, 2
  • Delaware, 1
  • Florida, 17
  • Georgia, 3
  • Hawaii, 1
  • Illinois, 1
  • Kansas, 1
  • Louisiana, 2
  • Maine, 5
  • Massachusetts, 5
  • Michigan, 5
  • Missouri, 1
  • Nebraska, 1
  • Nevada, 2
  • New Hampshire, 1
  • New Jersey, 3
  • New Mexico, 2
  • New York, 3
  • North Carolina, 3
  • Ohio, 1
  • Oklahoma, 1
  • Pennsylvania, 11
  • Rhode Island, 1
  • South Carolina, 1
  • Tennessee, 1
  • Texas, 8
  • Virginia, 6
  • Washington, 2

Excellence across many areas of hospital care is considered for the competitive award, including preventing infections, reducing unnecessary C-sections, avoiding medication errors, maternity care, pediatrics, and safe surgery. Data used to identify Top Hospitals are gathered and publicly reported through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The Survey compares hospitals’ performance on national standards of patient safety, quality, efficiency, and management structures that prevent errors, providing the most comprehensive picture of how patients fare at individual institutions. The data collected also enable hospitals to benchmark their progress toward The Leapfrog Group’s standards and measure the care they deliver.

To see the methodology for Top Hospitals and the full list of 2020 recipients, please visit

Leapfrog Pandemic Hero of the Year Awards

This new distinction recognizes the heroes that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to patient safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The health care workforce is the backbone of America’s health care system, and as Americans, we owe them a great debt of gratitude. We depend on their caring, and we rely on their courage, at our most frightening moments,” Binder said. “We are so proud to honor some of the incredible people who have truly gone above and beyond to deliver excellent patient care during the pandemic.”

An interdisciplinary committee of Leapfrog leaders selected two top award winners:

  • Sergio Alvarez, RN, Coral Gables Hospital in Miami, Florida: Leapfrog Pandemic Hero of the Year in the category of individual heroes. The committee noted that Sergio demonstrated a steadfast willingness to put the best interests and welfare of others above his own. During the midst of this crisis, he provided his personal cell phone number to patients and families, carefully explained test results, and helped to minimize fear and uncertainty.
  • Englewood Health in Englewood, New Jersey: Leapfrog Pandemic Hero of the Year in the category of teams of heroes. The committee selected this hospital based on its myriad approaches to communicating the importance of social distancing, partnering with first responders, making multiple daily calls to the families of patients, and supporting staff needs, including mental health support and financial assistance. Deserving special recognition are key leaders including Denise Arzoomanian, MSN, RN, CEN, Director of Nursing for Critical Care, as well as the 6 Dean and COVID-19 Physician Liaison and Patient and Family Engagement Teams.

In addition, Leapfrog issued special recognition for heroism during the pandemic to 22 individuals and teams across the country. For the full list of recipients and more background, visit

Nominations for this one-time award were submitted by hospital staff and leadership across the United States. Winners were selected by a special committee of Leapfrog Board Members and other stakeholders.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information, they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

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