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Original Release 7/11/2013
Media Contact: Karen Peck

UW Medicine Hospitals Identified as Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality

All four facilities including Northwest Hospital earn inclusion in Human Rights Campaign’s U.S. index

UW Medicine’s four hospitals are leaders in respecting healthcare equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT organization.

Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center each met criteria for inclusion in the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index, the HRC’s list of U.S. inpatient facilities.

“Our hospitals take pride in creating a welcoming environment and providing inclusive care to all patients and families,” said Johnese Spisso, Chief Health System Officer of UW Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington. “We are proud to demonstrate UW Medicine’s commitment to equal access for LGBT community members.”

This year, 464 facilities nationwide, nearly double last year’s total of 234, met the HRC’s survey criteria in four core areas of policy and training:
  • Equal patient access to care

  • Equal visitation access for people identified as family members

  • Equal access to employment

  • Completion of LGBT education by key hospital staff

“These kinds of indices are useful in that they allow you to see the standard of care in our country, so you can meet or exceed it,” said Dr. Shilpen Patel, a UW Medicine radiation oncologist and secretary to the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation, who recently served a two-year term as chair of Equal Rights Washington.

“It’s very difficult for patients to get through care without their support network. Families in the LGBT community come in different shapes, and when patients aren’t afraid to bring in their spouse or partner or their kids, it’s a healthier experience all around. This is delivering the patient-centered care that we talk about,” said Dr. Patel.

For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or to download a free copy of the report, visit


About Northwest Hospital & Medical Center
Founded in 1960, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center is a full-service, non-profit hospital located minutes north of downtown Seattle. With 281 licensed beds, more than 1,900 employees and all private rooms, it offers some of the most innovative, technologically advanced medical care available. Major clinical programs and services include: emergency services; critical care; cardiac care; neurosciences; stroke center; cancer care; childbirth services; orthopedics; ; medical rehabilitation; geropsychiatric center; diagnostic imaging; laboratory services; sleep medicine; and education and wellness programs, among others. In 2010, Northwest Hospital joined the UW Medicine health system. For more information about Northwest Hospital and its programs and services call 206.364.0500 or visit To find a physician, call the hospital’s free physician referral line at 206.633.4636.

About UW Medicine
UW Medicine trains health professionals and medical scientists, conducts research to improve health and prevent disease worldwide, and provides primary and specialty care to patients throughout Seattle/King County and the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region. UW Medicine includes: Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine and Airlift Northwest. UW Medicine also shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and shares in ownership of Children’s University Medical Group with Seattle Children’s Hospital.
UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, and the VA Hospital in Boise, Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in primary-care training for the past 19 years by US News & World Report. It is the top public institution for receipt of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and second among all institutions for NIH funding, public and private. UW Medicine’s 2,000 full-time faculty and nearly 5,000 clinical faculty across the WWAMI program include three living Nobel Prize winners (five in our history), 32 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 35 members of the Institute of Medicine, and 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. For more information, visit UW Medicine.

The Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award
Northwest Hospital Earns The Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award
The Emergency Medicine Excellence Award
Northwest Hospital Earns The Emergency Medicine Excellence Award
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Recognize a Staff Member: DAISY Foundation Award - (for extraordinary nurses) | Cares Award - (for all Northwest Hospital staff)

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