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In the contest for best Utah hospital, first place is a crowded spot. The two titans are tied.

Intermountain Medical Center and University of Utah Hospital both lead the pack of nearly 60 hospitals statewide, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2015-2016 "Best Hospitals" rankings, released this week.

There are multiple runners-up, too.

The No. 3 slot is shared by Ogden's Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, Salt Lake City's LDS Hospital and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo.

Both of the overall first-place centers celebrated the news.

"This recognition is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff and physicians," said Vivian Lee, CEO of U. Health Care, in a prepared statement, "and it's gratifying to be ranked among the nation's best."

The U. system has 527 hospital beds, about 1,300 physicians and 11 community clinics along the Wasatch Front.

Intermountain Medical Center also praised its own "incredible team of physicians, staff, volunteers and others who are passionate about delivering the highest quality health care possible and who strive for excellence day in and day out," said CEO David Grauer in a news release. "We are honored that their great work is being recognized."

About 5,000 hospitals in 94 U.S. metro areas qualified for this year's rankings.

To do so, they had to offer each of 16 required medical specialties.

The rankings were based on death rates, patient safety rates, procedure volumes and other criteria. —

Utah's best hospitals

The University of Utah Health Care System was recognized as "high-performing" in: cancer, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

Intermountain Medical Center ranked "high performing" in: heart failure, heart bypass surgery and COPD cancer care, orthopedics and pulmonology.

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