Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Highlighted in Healthcare Equality Index 2013

July 10, 2013

National survey recognizes leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality

CHICAGO, IL – Northwestern Memorial HealthCare was named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) report. The HEI is an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization. This is the first year that the Northwestern Memorial HealthCare system is being recognized in the report, with both Northwestern Memorial and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospitals being commended for their achievements as leaders in healthcare equality.  

Both hospitals were commended for their commitments to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families who can face challenges in accessing adequate healthcare. The HEI report also recognized the inclusive work environments which offer access to domestic partner benefits and same-sex networking and support groups.  

“We believe treating patients in an environment that is equitable and inclusive is fundamental to our Patients First mission,” said Dean M. Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. “It is an honor for Northwestern Memorial to be recognized for the second year in a row as a ‘Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ because it underscores our commitment to providing outstanding care for each and every patient we are privileged to serve.”  

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare was named a leader after demonstrating its ability to meet several key indicators for equitable care, including nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and training in LGBT patient-centered care for key staff. Only 464 healthcare facilities nationwide were recognized as leaders.  

To further meet the needs of the LGBT community, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group (NMPG) employs several physicians who specialize in the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. They strive to educate both patients and other medical providers about the unique healthcare needs of LGBT patients. They are also strong advocates for creating a welcoming environment where their patients can receive quality non-judgmental care. Learn more about NMPG’s Program.

Beyond its commitment to serving LGBT patients, Northwestern Memorial Hospital also strives to provide an inclusive work environment for its employees with nondiscrimination employment policies and same-sex domestic partner benefits. An affiliate-wide networking group called the Northwestern Chicago Out Network exists for the support and encouragement of LGBT faculty, staff, students, fellows, and residents on the Northwestern Chicago campus.  

The total number of healthcare facilities rated in the HEI surged nationwide from 407 in 2012 to 718 in 2013. Learn more about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or download a free copy of the report*.

Northwestern Medicine is the shared vision that joins Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in a collaborative effort to transform medicine through quality healthcare, academic excellence and scientific discovery. 


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