RUSH Hospitals Named Leaders in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality

RUSH University Medical Center, RUSH Copley Medical Center and RUSH Oak Park Hospital all received perfect marks in this year's ratings.
Rainbow flag and stethoscope

RUSH hospitals have again been named an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader in the Healthcare Equality Index. This index is based on a biannual survey of how U.S. health care facilities treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning patients and their families, as well as their own LGBTQ+ employees.

RUSH University Medical Center has been named a leader since 2010, RUSH Oak Park Hospital has received nine consecutive leader designations, and RUSH Copley Medical Center previously received leader designations in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

“This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our RUSH teams on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” says Dr. David Ansell, senior vice president for community health equity at RUSH University Medical Center. “RUSH is very proud to be a place people can trust to give compassionate, complete and high-quality care for everyone.”

The HEI 2024 findings, which were announced this week, are the 16th edition of the report by the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. LGBTQ+ organization. The report is intended to encourage equal care of LGBTQ+ patients.

The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria in the following four central areas:

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

Patient and community engagement. RUSH received the maximum score in each section, for a total score of 100 points, to earn the status of 2024 LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader. It is one of fewer than 400 hospitals or health systems to receive this recognition.

RUSH’s commitment to a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, students, employees and visitors includes the LGBTQ+ Leadership Council of RUSH’s Diversity Leadership Council, which provides guidance to all three RUSH hospitals about diversity issues and hosts events throughout the year to promote diversity.

Commitment includes transgender health benefits, Affirm

Due in part to the LGBTQ+ Leadership Council’s efforts, RUSH in 2016 became the first health system in Illinois to offer comprehensive transgender health benefits to employees and students alike. In 2020, the council was also instrumental in the launch of Affirm. The center provides safe, accessible and affirming and multidisciplinary care from across RUSH to those who identify as LGBTQ+. 

RUSH also has implemented the following LGBTQ+ initiatives:

  • A comprehensive LGBTQ+ policy statement detailing RUSH’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community
  • A dedicated LGBTQ+ section on the RUSH website
  • Fields for sexual orientation, gender identity, pronouns and chosen name in the electronic medical records system used at RUSH hospitals and training in the entry and use of this patient information.
  • An institutional LGBTQ+ logo, which is displayed on more than 2,000 lapel pins distributed to people across the RUSH system and a banner carried by RUSH participants in Chicago and Aurora’s annual LGBT Pride parades.
  • Changing signs on all public, single-occupancy bathrooms at RUSH University Medical Center to indicate that they are “all-gender.” The signage is intended to be welcoming to people who are transgender and those who have a non-binary gender identity.

“As anti-LGBTQ+ extremists look to strip away health care access at every turn, LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones are looking for health care providers to offer and champion fully inclusive services, the Healthcare Equality Index is helping people find facilities where welcoming policies and practices are the standard,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

“We know that LGBTQ+ people — especially our trans family — continue to face discrimination in the doctor’s office. No one should have to put their health on the back burner for fear of mistreatment in a health care facility or by their doctor.”