Tucson’s University Medical Center was the top-ranked local hospital in the 22nd annual U.S. News & World Report magazine’s rankings, released today.

The local teaching hospital earned national rankings in two specialties —  geriatrics (40th) and in cardiology and heart surgery (46th). It was also classified as “high-performing” in 10 adult specialties. Also, 44 of its doctors are included on the list of U.S. News Top Doctors, among them several of the doctors who earned national and international recognition for treating victims of the Jan. 8 Tucson shooting tragedy — trauma surgeons Dr. Peter Rhee  and Dr. Randall Friese  and neurosurgeon Dr. G. Michael Lemole Jr.   Doctors on the magazine’s list span 25 specialty areas and were selected based on a peer nomination process.

University Medical Center is a 351-bed general medical and surgical facility with 20,076 admissions in the most recent year reported. It performed 7,923 annual inpatient and 4,286 outpatient surgeries. Its emergency room had 59,730 visits.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others were treated for gunshot wounds at University Medical Center after the Jan. 8 shooting. Giffords was later transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, which earned the number four spot in the nation for rehabilitation in today’s rankings.

The rankings are available at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and will be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook, which will go on sale August 30.

Two other local hospitals — Northwest Medical Center and Sierra Tucson also earned high performing designations: Northwest Medical Center for gastroenterology and Sierra Tucson for psychiatry.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area. Just 17 hospitals made the national Honor Roll, a distinction that signals both rare breadth and rare depth of medical excellence. Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore was named at the top of the magazine’s honor roll for ranking neaer the top in six or more specialty rankings.

Among Arizona hospitals, Phoenix Children’s Hospital earned top grades with national rankings in five specialties. Three other Phoenix hospitals also earned top grades — Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center with four national rankings, the Mayo Clinic with a national ranking in three specialties and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, nationally-ranked in one specialty.

The rankings are based on death rates, patient safety, procedure volume, and other data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

 The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.