Two Stony Book Hospitals Named National Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality

Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (SBSH) have been named Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality for 2020 by the National LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.

The two hospitals both received the top score of 100 on a survey encompassing non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement. SBUH and SBSH are featured as Equality Leaders in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released Aug. 31. A record 765 healthcare facilities participated in the 2020 survey, with 495 earning the “LGBTQ health care Equality Leader” designation.

“Congratulations on becoming an HEI 2020 Healthcare Equality Leader,” the Foundation stated in notifying Stony Brook of the achievement. “We greatly appreciate your commitment to LGBTQ Patient-Centered Care.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Stony Brook Medicine has created a website,, and has formed an LGBTQ* Committee to address the needs of the LGBTQ* community, including patients, faculty, staff and trainees. Co-chaired by Rose Cardin, MSN, RN, Director Patient Education for Stony Brook University Hospital, Allison Elliscu, MD, FAAP, Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, and Adam Gonzalez, PhD, Director of Behavioral Health at Stony Brook Medicine, the multidisciplinary group includes medical and behavioral health providers and trainees, nurses, students, education specialists, and representatives from Human Resources, Information Technology and hospital Administration. Its mission is to review, address and affirm the specific and unique needs of LGBTQ* individuals, as well as promote respectful and culturally sensitive care to the LGBTQ* community.

SBSH’s Diversity Leadership Council, a committee of about 20 administrators, physicians, nurses, and other staff, actively educates, informs, and provides resources for the wider Hospital community about diversity issues while seeking opportunities to build an inclusive and safe environment for all who work in, seek care at, or visit hospital facilities. To foster a sense of inclusion and compassion for all, the hospital has provided training to staff through the Responding to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) program and the Greater New York Hospital Association’s Cultural Competency and Health Literacy education programs.

Stony Brook Medicine has created a video that explains how the healthcare system addresses the needs of the LGBTQ* community, including patients, faculty, staff and trainees. Stony Brook Medicine’s LGBTQ* initiative is part of Stony Brook University’s Chief Diversity Office, led by Judith Brown Clarke, PhD, Vice President of Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. SBU provides a welcoming environment for a diverse student and faculty population, offering unparalleled opportunities to make meaningful contributions as active, involved and welcomed members of the campus community.

“I am very proud and appreciative of the LGBTQ* Committee’s collective efforts and hard work to achieve this goal,” said Carol Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ, Chief Executive Officer for Stony Brook University Hospital. She especially thanked Natasha Burke, MPA, Administrator to the CEO, Matthew Tharakan, MD, MBA, FACP, Associate Chief Medical Information Officer for Stony Brook Medicine, and Chris Ward in Project Management for Stony Brook Medicine, for their help in achieving the recognition.

“We are committed to creating an environment where everyone is welcome and valued,” said Robert S. Chaloner, Chief Administrative Officer, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, who is himself gay. “We are honored to have our efforts recognized and will continue to improve access to services we provide to the LGBTQ community.”