Newswise — BOSTON–– For the fifth time in five years, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been recognized as a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equity by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. The distinction is achieved through evaluation by the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey that measures inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors, and staff at nearly 600 medical facilities nationwide.

 “Our mission at Dana-Farber includes caring for our patients in a holistic manner, encompassing more than the medical treatment of cancer. This recognition directly connects with our commitment to inclusion and respect,” said president & CEO Laurie Glimcher, MD. “I am so proud to work with compassionate and dedicated caregivers who are supportive to every patient who walks through our doors, as well as each other.”

 The 10th edition of the HEI includes new criteria that raises the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time, HEI participants were awarded numerical scores for their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four areas; LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, fully-inclusive employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Dana-Farber received the maximum score in each section, for a total tally of 100, earning the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

 “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community, said HRC President Chad Griffin. “For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

 As part of their pledge to be a national LGBTQ leader, Dana-Farber:

  • created a non-discrimination policy and training curriculum for staff
  • ensured an equal visitation policy for patients
  • aligned equal benefits and documentation requirements for same sex spouses
  • instituted parity for employees with spouses and domestic partners in areas such as bereavement leave and employee-provided health insurance
  • created a health plan that provides medically necessary health services for transgender people
  • established explicit LGBTQ hiring efforts
  • promoted internal support and accessibility to LGBTQ support groups, while expanding public outreach and visible support for related organizations
  • dedicated resources to LGBTQ medical research

 “We’re proud of the progress we have made over the past year. It’s a reflection of both the enthusiasm and hard work of staff members as well as support and encouragement from Dana-Farber leadership,” said Sarah Winawer-Wetzel, chair of LGBT & Friends at Dana-Farber. “We look forward to continuing this work to position Dana-Farber at the forefront of LGBTQ rights and acceptance within healthcare.”

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

From achieving the first remissions in childhood cancer with chemotherapy in 1948, to developing the very latest new therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is the only center ranked in the top 4 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care.


Dana-Farber sits at the center of a wide range of collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center provides the latest in cancer care for adults; Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for children. The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center unites the cancer research efforts of five Harvard academic medical centers and two graduate schools, while Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provides high quality cancer treatment in communities outside Boston’s Longwood Medical Area.

 Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique, 50/50 balance between cancer research and care, and much of the Institute’s work is dedicated to translating the results of its discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.