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America's 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals named for 2012

Martha Jefferson Hospital of Charlottesville, Va., took the top honors in Soliant.com’s recent poll of America’s Most Beautiful Hospitals.

Soliant Health is a specialty healthcare staffing provider and part of Adecco Group.

The contest, which is in its fourth year, turned this year’s choice over to America and after almost 170,000 votes, Martha Jefferson Hospital took the top spot.

[See also: Slideshow: Top 20 Most Beautiful U.S. Hospitals 2012]

Among the features that helped the hospital secure the win are a pitched roof and extensive gardens to promote a feeling of home, designer slate elevator bays, decorative frosted glass windows to allow light in as much as possible while maintaining privacy and hand-crafted tile designed specifically for each patient bathroom.

“From the very beginning of the design process, our aim has been to provide our patients, visitors and staff with a comfortable, pleasant environment. We believe that such an environment improves their overall experience and patient outcomes,” said Jim Haden, president of Martha Jefferson Hospital, a member of Sentara Healthcare, in a press release. “Ultimately, we wanted the facility itself to reflect our vision to set the standard for clinical quality and personalized healthcare services.”

"Mounting clinical evidence suggests that better aesthetics can improve patients’ health - not to mention their morale - specifically in the patient rooms," said Tera Tuten, Soliant's operations director. "For example, big windows with natural light, a warm room that feels like home, make the patients feel less stressed and therefore recover faster."

"Hospitals across the country are changing the way they design their facilities – it’s no longer the square cinder block building with florescent lights," she added. "Hospitals are meant to be places where patients can heal, feel comfortable and feel taken care of in order to recover faster."

The top twenty list was rounded out by: 


2.    Eisenhower Medical Center 


3.    LeConte Medical Center 


4.    Miami Childrens Hospital


5.    Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare


6.    San Juan Regional Medical Center 


7.    Health Central Hospital 


8.    Orange City Area Health System


9.    SSM St. Clare Health Center 


10.   UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center 


11.   Paoli Hospital 


12.   University Hospital Ahuja Medical Center 


13.   MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando 


14.   Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 


15.   Jackson Purchase Medical Center 


16.    Medical Center of the Rockies 


17.    Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Katz Womens Hospital 


18.    Sky Ridge Medical Center 


19.    Carolina Medical Center Pineville 


20.    Phoenix Childrens Hospital

Soliant was surprised by the competitive nature of this year's competition, said Tuten.

"We were very surprised at how competitive the hospitals were to make the list this year," she said. "I had people following up with me on a weekly basis to find out where they were ranking and how close they were to the hospital ahead of them. It was really exciting this year. I even had several hospitals tell me how fun the contest was for them especially engaging with their staff, patients and community, which makes us excited."

"Being on our list is our way of saying thank you for not only improving the lives of patients but the lives of the all the people that work in the hospital, which are the people we staff every day in hospitals across the country," she added.

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