PRESS RELEASE: Think tank identifies America’s most inclusive hospitals

Lown Institute ranking highlights most segregated markets

Many of the most and least inclusive hospitals are in the same cities, analysis finds

BOSTON, MA – Most hospitals say advancing health equity in their communities is a priority, and a new report examines just how well they’re doing. The Lown Institute, an independent healthcare think tank, ranked over 3,000 U.S. hospitals on how well they served patients of color, using Medicare data from 2021.

Disparities in healthcare outcomes and access are well-documented in communities of color, including higher rates of chronic conditions, lower life expectancy, and lower rates of private insurance. Lown examined the racial and ethnic demographics of patients to gauge how effectively hospitals target care to those populations. Racially inclusive hospitals served more patients of color than expected based on the demographics of their service area.

“It’s refreshing to see that some hospitals make caring for those most in need their top priority,” said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute. “Inclusive hospitals show that it’s possible to serve everyone, even when it may be against their financial interest.”

The following hospitals are the most racially inclusive in America:

  1. Boston Medical Center (Boston, MA)
  2. John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital (Chicago, IL)
  3. UChicago Medicine (Chicago, IL)
  4. Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA)
  5. Metro Nashville General Hospital (Nashville, TN)
  6. South Coast Global Medical Center (Santa Ana, CA)
  7. St. Charles Madras (Madras, OR)
  8. Grady Memorial Hospital (Atlanta, GA)
  9. Methodist Hospitals (Gary, IN)
  10. Emory University Hospital Midtown (Atlanta, GA)

Segregated healthcare markets

The Institute also found that many of the most and least racially inclusive hospitals are located in the same U.S. cities, reflecting segregated healthcare markets. Of the 11 metro areas identified by the Lown Institute with significant market segregation, New Orleans stands out at the top of the list, with seven of its 14 hospitals (50%) ranking among the most or least inclusive.

The U.S. cities with the most segregated hospital markets are:

  1. New Orleans, LA
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Milwaukee, WI
  5. Philadelphia, PA
  6. Kansas City, MO
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Phoenix, AZ
  10. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  11. Atlanta, GA

The most segregated hospital markets were determined by examining the proportion of hospitals within a metropolitan statistical area receiving either 1 star (lowest score) or 5 stars (highest score) on Lown’s racial inclusivity ranking. All cities included on the list had more than 20% of hospitals at those extremes.

“Hospitals will say their doors are open to everyone and that they don’t turn anyone away, but that can be misleading,” said Saini. “If hospitals really want to undo structural racism’s hold on their communities, they can’t be bystanders. They need to act more systematically and with more intention.”

For additional ranking information, including a full explanation of methods, see the online report.


The 50 most racially inclusive hospitals in America
U.S. News Honor Roll hospital racial inclusivity rankings
Each state’s most racially inclusive hospital

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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Aaron Toleos, Lown Institute, (978) 821-4620,