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Press Releases

18 NYC Health + Hospitals Facilities Earn “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation In Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

The 18 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities are among the 384 healthcare facilities nationwide earning a top score

Jun 03, 2024

Today, 18 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities announced their “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 16th iteration of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 1,065 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. Of those participants, 384 received the top score of 100, earning the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln received a special highlight in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s report as being one of only 10 HEI-participating facilities nationwide (of 1,065 in total) where staff completed 5,000 or more hours of training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care during the HEI 2024 survey period—an outstanding achievement.

“As the largest municipal health care system in the country, in a city with the largest LGBTQ+ population in the country, NYC Health + Hospitals is passionate and dedicated to empowering the LGBTQ+ community to live their healthiest lives possible. Our mission is to provide New Yorkers with comprehensive health services of the highest quality in an atmosphere of humane care, dignity, and respect,” said James Derham, Director for LGBTQ+ Equity at NYC Health + Hospitals. “In this spirit, we are proud to honor and respect the unique health needs of the LGBTQ+ community by leading the way in providing LGBTQ+ services and training and creating policies to ensure that we are meeting the needs and expectations of the communities we serve. NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to announce that all 18 of our eligible facilities have earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation again in 2024 – a recognition these facilities have earned consistently since 2015. We are honored to be part of the 36% of participating facilities that earned this highest designation. This acknowledgment speaks to our dedication towards being vocal, proactive, and passionate in providing world-class LGBTQ+ -affirming and inclusive healthcare services.”

“Earning the highest possible ‘LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader’ designation at all NYC Health + Hospitals acute care facilities and seven of our Gotham Health sites is a testament to our system’s commitment to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into its daily practices. This achievement is an honor and a true representation of the work and commitment that remains a priority for NYC Health + Hospitals,” said Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals.

The following 18 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities received top scores:


  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx


  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull


  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan


  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens

Staten Island  

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt

This year’s HEI comes as LGBTQ+ adults are twice as likely as non-LGBTQ+ adults to be “treated unfairly or with disrespect by a doctor or healthcare provider” in the last three years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The impact of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation combined with a history of discrimination in healthcare settings has the potential to cause even more LGBTQ+ people to delay or avoid seeking healthcare, which makes the HEI even more salient for those looking to find LGBTQ+-inclusive care.

At NYC Health + Hospitals, humane and LGBTQ+-affirming care is the standard. In 2011, NYC Health + Hospitals became the first public healthcare system in the United States to mandate a Cultural Competence Training program for staff. The program was designed to teach staff to provide respectful, patient-centered, and culturally competent healthcare services to LGBTQ+ New Yorkers who are served by public hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes each year. NYC Health + Hospitals continues to offer staff training sessions for all staff in the system, including its monthly systemwide Achieving Health Equity for LGBTQ+ People training.


CONTACT: Press Office


About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

About the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.