Lown Institute Identifies Most Socially Responsible U.S. Hospitals

Duke Regional Hospital named most socially responsible hospital in the United States

54 “honor roll” hospitals lead the nation in equity, value, and patient outcomes

Majority of top performers pay their CEOs less than average

Boston, Mass.—The Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has released its annual list of the most socially responsible hospitals in America. Of more than 3,600 hospitals evaluated, 54 made the honor roll by earning “A” grades across three main categories: equity, value, and outcomes.

This is the fourth year of the Lown Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility, the only annual ranking to fully integrate racial inclusivity, community investment, and pay equity with traditional outcomes measures. Medicare Advantage claims have been included for the first time, further distinguishing the Lown Index from other platforms in terms of scope and validity.

The 10 Most Socially Responsible Hospitals in America are:

  1. Duke Regional Hospital (Durham, N.C.)
  2. UCHealth Greeley Hospital (Greeley, Colo.)
  3. Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas (Austin, Texas)
  4. UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies (Loveland, Colo.)
  5. Tristar Horizon Medical Center (Dickson, Tenn.)
  6. St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem Campus (Bethlehem, Pa.)
  7. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Pflugerville (Pflugerville, Texas)
  8. Denver Health & Hospital Authority (Denver, Colo.)
  9. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Ontario (Ontario, Ore.)
  10. Mission Hospital McDowell (Marion, N.C.)

“Good hospitals make their patients healthier, but socially responsible hospitals make their communities healthier too,” said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute. “These are the hospitals America needs right now—hospitals that can set and achieve ambitious goals for serving their entire community.”

CEO Compensation

The Lown Institute analysis shows that top performance on social responsibility measures does not require excessive CEO pay. For example, the CEO of top-ranked Duke Regional Medical Center earned approximately $700,000 in 2020, while UNC Health Southeastern, another North Carolina hospital, paid its CEO $1.24 million but ranked 3350th. Overall, 70% of “honor roll” hospitals with data available paid their executives less than average when compared to hospitals of similar size. CEO pay information was drawn from IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ending 2020.


The Lown Institute Hospitals Index measures social responsibility of more than 3,600 hospitals nationwide, evaluating hospitals on more than 50 metrics across equity, value, and outcomes. Hospitals with “A” grades on each of the three major categories achieve honor roll designation. The Lown Index uses publicly available data from traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage claims, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ hospital cost reports, Internal Revenue Service Form 990, and other sources. A complete methodology is available.


About the Lown Institute

Founded in 1973 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown, MD, developer of the defibrillator and cardioverter, the Lown Institute believes that a radically better system of health is possible and generates bold ideas towards that goal. The Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility is a signature project of the Institute and features measures never used before like racial inclusivity, avoidance of overuse, and pay equity.


Aaron Toleos, Lown Institute, (978) 821-4620, atoleos@lowninstitute.org