Newswise — Wilmington, DE, May 11, 2017 – Christiana Care Health System’s Christiana and Wilmington hospitals have both been designated a 2017 “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,” receiving a perfect score on the national Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational branch of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.

It is the sixth consecutive year Christiana Care’s hospitals have received the honor. This year, Christiana and Wilmington hospitals were among a select group of 302 health care facilities in the nation – and the only two hospitals in Delaware – to earn “leader” status.

We are honored by this designation and it is our privilege to promote an inclusive environment for our patients, their loved ones and our colleagues,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, Christiana Care’s president and chief executive officer. “This designation is reflective of our promise to our patients and families to be respectful, caring partners in their health.”

For 2017, the 10th edition of the HEI implemented new criteria that raised the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

We are proud of the extensive effort Christiana Care puts forth to receive this designation,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, chief health equity officer at Christiana Care. “Our organization continues to raise the bar in our efforts and is pleased to have earned this recognition.”

For the first time, HEI participants were given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented:

  • Foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care.

  • LGBTQ patient services and support.

  • Employee benefits and policies.

  • LGBTQ patient and community engagement.

Participants receiving the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of 2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.

Christiana Care has been a pioneer in LGBTQ health equality,” said Timothy Rodden, MDiv, MA, BCC, FACHE, director, Pastoral Services and system coordinator for LGBTQ health initiatives. “We strive to grow our programs and resources to meet the health needs for LGBTQ Delawareans, and to partner with others in the state.”

Among the achievements that helped earn 2017 “leader” status:


  • Provided transgender health benefits to employees and their dependents. Christiana Care is the only health system in Delaware to do so.

  • Added the web page “LGBTQ Health Initiatives to so the LGBTQ community can readily find information about LGBTQ services at Christiana Care and in the community, and to locate LGBTQ-friendly health care providers, as well as other useful resources.

  • Created “Transgender Care Guidelines and Resources” best practice tips and guidelines document to help clinicians, providers and other staff to provide respectful care to transgender patients and their families.

  • Produced an It Gets Better video as a community outreach tool to help prevent suicide for at-risk LGBTQ adolescents and young adults.

In 2015, the health system formed an LGBTQ Patient-Family Advisory Group that includes people from the community and employees. These advisors help Christiana Care identify unmet needs and work to continually improve quality and provide relevant services.

The HRC Foundation works 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.

About Christiana Care Health System

Christiana Care Health System is one of the country’s largest health care systems, ranking as the 22st leading hospital in the nation and 11th on the East Coast in terms of admissions. The health system includes The Medical Group of Christiana Care, a network of primary care physicians, medical and surgical specialists as well as home health care, preventive medicine, rehabilitation services and patient/family advisors for core health care services. A not-for-profit teaching hospital affiliated with Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Christiana Care is recognized as a regional center for excellence in cardiology, cancer and women's health services. Christiana Care has an extensive range of outpatient services, and through Christiana Care Quality Partners, Christiana Care works closely with its medical staff to achieve better health, better access to care and lower cost. Christiana Care is home to Delaware's only Level I trauma center, the highest capability center and the only one of its kind between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Christiana Care features a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, the only delivering hospital in Delaware that offers this highest level of care to the most critically ill newborns. Christiana Care includes two hospitals with 1,100 patient beds. For more information about Christiana Care, visit