LOMA LINDA — ­Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) has been recognized as a Best Hospital for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report.

That news hits close to home in the Coachella Valley with the opening in March 2018 of Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio, the largest pediatric clinic in the area.

Ranked as the No. 1 hospital in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties,  Loma Linda University Medical Center was also nationally ranked in gynecology and recognized as “high performing” in seven other areas.

Released Tuesday, the annual rankings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or common elective procedures.

“Today’s U.S. News recognition is a testament to our entire team, who every day live out our mission of extending the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ through providing the highest quality care to our patients,” said Kerry Heinrich, CEO of Loma Linda University Medical Center, in a prepared statement. “More importantly, I believe the communities we serve will feel incredible pride in these honors as well. Families across the Inland Empire and from around the world have trusted Loma Linda University Health to be ready when their need is the greatest.”

Four of Loma Linda University Medical Center’s specialties were recognized as high performing, including gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and urology.

Three common procedures and conditions treated were also ranked high performing, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, congestive heart failure and colon cancer surgery.

For the 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. Loma Linda University Medical Center’s was one. In the 16 specialty areas, 158 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.

The U.S. News Best Hospitals methodologies in most areas of care are based largely or entirely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.