PRESS RELEASE: New rankings identify America’s most socially responsible hospitals

60+ Hospitals are best in class based on health equity, patient outcomes, and value of care

Sixty-six U.S. hospitals earned the distinction of “most socially responsible” by the Lown Institute, a think tank known for its evidence-based assessments of America’s healthcare providers. To achieve this designation, hospitals earned “A” grades across measures of health equity, value, and outcomes. 

Launched in 2020, the Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility draws attention to leading and lagging institutions nationwide, and provides benchmarks for hospitals to measure how well they serve their patients and communities. 

In total, the rankings include 3,606 hospitals—with less than two percent earning top marks across all categories. Metrics such as racial inclusivity of patients, employee pay equity, and avoidance of unnecessary and potentially harmful procedures make the Lown Index a unique tool for evaluating hospitals as social institutions.

“Citizens put their lives and billions of tax dollars in the hands of America’s hospitals,” said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute. “We believe communities should have high expectations and the most socially responsible institutions should be lifted up as models for the system.”

The 20 Most Socially Responsible Hospitals in America

  1. Adventist Health Howard Hospital (Willits, CA)
  2. Duke Regional Hospital (Durham, NC)
  3. Tristar Horizon Medical Center (Dickson, TN) 
  4. Boston Medical Center (Boston, MA)
  5. Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (Salinas, CA)
  6. Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center (Gresham, OR) 
  7. Banner University Medical Center South Campus (Tucson, AZ)
  8. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa (Nampa, ID)
  9. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Ontario (Ontario, OR)
  10. Denver Health & Hospital Authority (Denver, CO)
  11. Saint Rose Dominican Hospitals – Rose de Lima (Henderson, NV)
  12. St Mary Corwin Medical Center (Pueblo, CO)
  13. Saint Joseph Berea (Berea, KY)
  14. St Charles Prineville (Prineville, OR)
  15. Metrohealth System (Cleveland, OH)
  16. Stoughton Hospital Association (Stoughton, WI)
  17. Sutter Solano Medical Center (Vallejo, CA)
  18. Providence Milwaukie Hospital (Milwaukie, OR)
  19. North Suburban Medical Center (Thornton, CO)
  20. Baystate Wing Hospital (Palmer, MA)

15 “Straight A” Hospitals Had High COVID Burdens

Among the 66 most socially responsible hospitals, Lown Institute analysts identified 15 hospitals that had an extraordinary COVID burden—defined as having 26 or more weeks with at least 10% of inpatient beds filled by COVID-19 patients during the first year of the pandemic. 

“Achieving the trifecta of great outcomes, value, and equity is hard—especially under the pressures of a global pandemic,” said Dr. Saini. “Hospitals that met the unprecedented challenges of COVID while staying committed to their social mission should be very, very proud.”

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index measures social responsibility of more than 3,600 hospitals nationwide, evaluating hospitals on 53 metrics across equity, value, and outcomes. Hospitals with “A” grades on each of the three major categories achieve the title of “most socially responsible.” The Lown Institute used publicly available data from Medicare claims, CMS hospital cost reports, IRS 990 forms, and other sources. COVID burden for March 2020-2021 is reported for each hospital, but does not factor into the hospital social responsibility ranking. A full methodology is available on the Lown Hospitals Index website.


Launch Event: Join us June 28, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET for a live event as we discuss what makes the top hospitals successful on social responsibility, with Vikas Saini, Shannon Brownlee, and hospital leaders.

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,