Human Rights Campaign Designates NYC Health + Hospitals A “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality”

April 8, 2018

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that 22 of its patient care locations (includes Harlem Hospital), across all five boroughs, have received the designation “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2018. This is the third consecutive year NYC Health + Hospitals has received this designation.

The honor acknowledges hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes across the country that embrace LGBTQ inclusion and patient-centered care.

NYC Health + Hospitals is honored to again be recognized as a leader in providing affirming care to LGBTQ patients and fostering an inclusive work environment for our employees,” said Sarah Bender, associate director of gender equity at NYC Health + Hospitals. “The health system is fully committed to working toward health equity for LGBTQ communities, and this designation reflects our progress on that promise. While there is more work to do to prevent LGBTQ patients and families from experiencing health disparities, NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to be a leader in the charge.”

Participating health care providers are assessed on four Healthcare Equality Index criteria: LGBTQ Patient-Centered Care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Only participants that receive the maximum score in each section earn the “2018 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

“The benefits of NYC Health + Hospitals training programs for staff reach far beyond the educational benefits; just as important, the training programs start important dialogue among staff,” said Lisa Russak, NP, nurse practitioner at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens. “When staff are comfortable addressing topics related to LGBTQ communities, it translates into better care for our LGBTQ patients.”

“I am very proud that NYC Health + Hospitals has, for a third year in a row, been designated as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “This is evidence of their continued commitment to the values of equality and respect for all, and I look forward to continue working with them to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to affordable and quality healthcare.”

“New York City has made great progress ensuring that LGBTQ New Yorkers have access to appropriate health and human services and breaking down the barriers that contribute to health disparities,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “It is gratifying that the Human Rights Campaign is recognizing the achievements of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the nation, as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

“I congratulate NYC Health + Hospitals on its designation of ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,’” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “As a leader in providing quality, socially responsible care, NYC Health + Hospitals has helped meet the needs of LGBTQ New Yorkers with services and programming such as gender-affirming surgery and valuable trainings. As an openly gay, HIV-positive elected official, I am grateful for the hard work and care for my community that the staff NYC Health + Hospitals gives, and want to thank them for their devotion to LGBTQ New Yorkers.”

“Many congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals for being designated a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equity by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for another year,” said City Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Hospitals Committee. “There is still so much more work to be done to ensure that LGBTQ New Yorkers feel entirely comfortable with both the level of care in all of our healthcare facilities and the culturally competent manner in which it is delivered. NYC Health + Hospitals is taking steps in the right direction, and I look forward to supporting further efforts.”

“Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals on being designated a ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equity’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said City Council Member Daniel Dromm. “I am especially pleased that NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, which is located in my district, has received this special recognition for their outstanding service to the LGBTQ community. As an openly gay man, I appreciate the steps NYC Heath + Hospitals has taken to ensure that people of all sexualities and gender identities receive the quality care that is their due.”

In the past year, NYC Health + Hospitals has achieved the following accomplishments in LGBTQ Health Care:

  • Gender-affirming surgery services were added at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull opened the health system’s second Pride Health Center for LGBTQ patients.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals partnered with the Fenway Institute/National LGBT Health Education Center to pilot a groundbreaking training program for staff: Certificate of Advanced Training in LGBTQ Healthcare.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals partnered with the Fenway Institute/National LGBT Health Education Center and Boston Children’s Hospital to train pediatric and adolescent providers in providing affirming care to transgender and non-binary youth.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals partnered with the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau – LGBT Outreach Unit to provide specialized workshops to hospital police system-wide on best practices in affirming interactions with LGBTQ people.

Click here to see the other NYC Health + Hospitals patient care locations including Harlem Hospital recognized as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

For more information, visit

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