FMC “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation in HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

Mar 3, 2020

Florida Medical Center Is the Only Hospital to Receive This Recognition in Fort Lauderdale

Oakland Park, Fla. (March 29, 2017) – Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore, achieves recognition as a Leader in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ) Healthcare Equality by the Foundation of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the United States. The recently released designation is part of the latest edition of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a national survey conducted annually that promotes equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ patients and families. The designation is based on a health care facilities’ patient nondiscrimination policies, equal visitation policies, employment nondiscrimination policies and training for employees in LGBTQ patient-centered care. 

The 10th edition of the HEI implements new criteria that raise the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time ever, HEI participants are 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, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points, like Florida Medical Center, earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

Florida Medical Center is committed to providing inclusive healthcare  for our patients and we care about all of the communities we serve,” said Florida Medical Center CEO, Trey Abshier.  “We work diligently to treat every patient or family member we encounter with the utmost respect and compassion.

In order for Florida Medical Center to qualify for this recognition, the hospital had to show compliance in multiple areas.  The hospital amended patient policies so that they are specifically mindful of equality in terms of sexual orientation or gender identity. The leadership team at Florida Medical Center completed training on LGBTQ-related healthcare issues. Multiple all-sex restrooms have been designated within the hospital and community outreach and education events have been held at the Pride Center at Equality Park. In addition, the hospital’s employment policies do not discriminate based on gender identity/sexual orientation and recognize same-sex domestic partnerships.

“Being recognized as a Leader in Healthcare Equality reinforces FMC’s continued commitment to create an accepting and healing environment for all patients, visitors and employees,” said Dr. Frank Vittimberga, Chief Medical Officer.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is education 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.


About Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore

Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore is a 459-bed acute care hospital founded in 1973. Located at 5000 West Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Florida Medical Center is the home of The Heart Institute of Florida, the hospital’s center for cardiac services which offers a Hybrid Operating Suite, Heart Valve Clinic, Chest Pain Center and the Aortic Disease Institute of Florida.

The hospital is one of the only Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Western Broward County as designated by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, allowing physicians and staff to offer a higher level of stroke care to its patients. Florida Medical Center’s Surgical Weight Loss Center is also a designated Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Florida Medical Center offers a broad range of medical and surgical services including: neurology and neurosurgery, a comprehensive orthopedics program, urology, psychiatry, gynecology, diagnostic imaging, pain center, wound care, diabetes education and 24-hour emergency services. Florida Medical Center has also recently opened a dedicated Senior Care Unit and Senior ER to accommodate the needs of the aging community.  Florida Medical Center is the first hospital in Florida to achieve full Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Resuscitation Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

Florida Medical Center received the following awards from Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals: ranked among the top 10% in the nation for cardiology services and coronary interventional procedures in 2014, five-star recipient for Coronary Intervention Procedures for 3 years in a row (2013-2015), five-star recipient for coronary interventional procedures for three years in a row (2013-2015), and five-star recipient for the treatment of heart failure (2014-2015 and 2017).

Florida Medical Center has also received recognition from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award in stroke care and the target stroke honor roll, the highest distinction awarded for stroke care. Florida Medical Center is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency. To learn more about Florida Medical Center, visit

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