The Human Rights Campaign recently praised two dozen North Carolina hospitals as “Leaders in Healthcare Equality,” for their perfect 100 scores on the organization’s annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).

Twenty-four hospitals in the state achieved the coveted “Leader” distinction, chief among them all the hospitals belonging to Novant Health, one of the state’s largest hospital systems.

Due in part to Novant’s participation, North Carolina tied with Ohio for the third-highest number of “Leader” hospitals among all states. California came in first, with 83 hospitals and New York second with 77. North Carolina ranked first in the southern region, with Florida coming in second with 16 hospitals.

Forty-five hospitals in the state were asked to complete the HEI. Nearly all did, with one major exception: Carolinas Medical System, which recently rebranded as Atrium Health. Though Atrium has in recent years stepped up to provide sponsorships and support for local and regional LGBTQ organizations, the hospital system has traditionally opted not to participate in the Human Rights Campaign survey.

HRC surveyed or researched over 600 hospitals for the annual HEI in 2018. The organization reports that 67 percent of the hospitals earned the “Leader” distinction.

Click here to find links to North Carolina hospitals’ individual HEI profiles.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.