Advocate Health Hospital Earns Top Honors in Healthcare Equality Index

05.24.2024 Atrium Health News

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist earns perfect score; 44 system hospitals named high performers

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 24, 2024 – Advocate Health is pleased to announce that Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, achieved the highest possible designation on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s recently released 2024 Healthcare Equality Index. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was named an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” and received a perfect score, while 44 other Advocate Health hospitals across Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin received the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” designation.

In its 16th edition, the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the national LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2024 evaluates nearly 2,400 health care facilities nationwide.

“Creating a space for all patients to feel seen and supported is core to who we are at Advocate Health and key to our goal of driving better, more equitable health outcomes,” said Kinneil Coltman, executive vice president and chief community and social impact officer for Advocate Health. “We are pleased to receive this recognition, as it indicates our hospitals are leading the way in creating safe, affirming experiences for the LGBTQ+ community and all patients we are privileged to serve.”

The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria under four central pillars:

  • Foundational policies and training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care
  • LGBTQ+ patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • Patient and community engagement

LGBTQ+ adults are twice as likely to experience unfair treatment or disrespect by a doctor or health care provider compared to non-LGBTQ+ adults, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This designation reaffirms Advocate Health’s commitment to equality across its six-state service area, including the Greater Charlotte region and Winston-Salem in North Carolina, as well as the Midwest.

“LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones are looking for health care providers to offer and champion fully inclusive services,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index is helping people find facilities where welcoming policies and practices are the standard.”