SALEM ? For the second consecutive year, North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) has earned top ranking for its standard of care.The medical campus received the Distinguished Hospital of Clinical Excellence Award, the 2007 Pulmonary Care Excellence Award, and the 2007 Stroke Care Excellence Award, all for 2007.HealthGrades, Inc., an independent health care information company that assesses health care nationwide and provides objective report card ratings to consumers, bestowed the honors, according to NSMC spokesman Kevin Ronnigen.Hospitals that receive the award for clinical excellence are among the top scoring full-service hospitals in the nation. The rating is based on more than 70 independent public and private sources, giving consumers the tools to evaluate and select providers based on quality, Ronnigen said.A total of 226 of the nation’s 4,971 non-federal hospitals received this distinction. NSMC was joined by Newton-Wellesley Hospital and South Shore Hospital as the only three in Massachusetts to earn the distinction.The health care assessment company also determined that NSMC was among the top 10 percent of the nation’s hospitals in two specialty areas ? pulmonary and stroke care.Healthgrades noted that pulmonology physicians at NSMC care for patients with diseases of the respiratory system including sleep apnea, sleep disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, asthma, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.NSMC also scored highly among hospitals for its stroke services. The Salem-based facility is designated as a Primary Stroke Service Hospital by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This means that Salem Hospital in Salem and Union Hospital in Lynn, both entities of NSMC, follow national standards to ensure that diagnostic and therapeutic services are provided by a team available 24 hours a day for patients with symptoms of acute stroke.The medical center additionally received high ratings in other specialty areas, including community-acquired pneumonia, bariatrics or gastric bypass, heart attack, prostatectomy, and valve-replacement surgery.”We’re very proud of our quality and patient satisfaction ratings,” said Robert Norton, NSMC president and chief executive officer. “We work hard to provide exceptional care to out patients, and this recognition is a wonderful validation that we are hitting the mark.”HealthGrades is based in Lakewood, Colorado. Its purpose is to objectively analyze the performance of more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals. Additional information is available at www.healthgrades.com.