Lakeside Medical Center Named the Most Racially Inclusive Hospital Nationwide
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, is the most racially inclusive hospital in the country, according a recent report by the Lown Institute, a non-partisan think tank that advocates for a just healthcare system. Of the more than 2,800 hospitals assessed using the Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility, Lakeside Medical Center placed number one in the nation for its equitable care in serving the agricultural communities in rural, western Palm Beach County.
“As a safety net healthcare system, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County is committed to a racially inclusive environment at our acute care, rural teaching hospital as well as in our skilled nursing home, public school health rooms and primary care clinics, which are located in areas of need,” said Darcy J. Davis, Health Care District CEO. “We encourage the understanding of diverse perspectives, language, ideas and people. In fact, diversity as an organization and among those we serve is one of our biggest strengths.”
The Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility's racial inclusivity metric measures how well U.S. hospitals serve people of color in their surrounding communities. The analysis used Medicare claims data from 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2020. Each hospital’s racial inclusivity score reflects how well the demographics of the hospital’s “community area” (people who the hospital could serve) compare to the demographics of the patient population (who the hospital does serve). The community area is determined using the zip codes from which a hospital’s Medicare patients come and includes a travel time adjustment.
“We take great pride that our rural, teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, has the distinction of ranking number one in the nation for racial inclusivity,” said Leslie B. Daniels, Chair of the Health Care District’s Board. “The Health Care District has a 33-year history of ensuring access to safe, high-quality health care to all residents in the western, agricultural communities known as the Glades.”
Lakeside Medical Center was a lifeline for patients in 2020 and again during the summer of 2021 when the Glades was considered a hot spot for COVID-19. Many Glades residents are underserved, uninsured, suffer from chronic health conditions like diabetes, and have limited access to transportation. To expand access to primary care, one of the Health Care District’s C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics is co-located on the hospital’s Belle Glade campus where adults and children in the Glades receive high-quality medical, dental pharmacy and behavioral health services regardless of their ability to pay.
In 2020, Lakeside Medical Center received national, gold-level recognition from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) for the hospital’s efforts ensuring the safety of patients and health care staff in the operating room. This year, the tenth class of Family Medicine Residents will graduate from the hospital’s diverse residency program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Lakeside Medical Center’s key leadership is composed of African American women, including Karen Harris, the Health Care District’s Vice President of Field Operations; Jennifer Dorcé-Medard, DO, Lakeside Medical Center’s Associate Chief Medical Officer; and Janet D. Moreland, APRN, MSN, LHRM, Lakeside Medical Center’s Associate Vice President. In fact, Ms. Moreland was raised in the Glades and returned as a nurse to give back to her community.
“I’m proud to serve my community and work with and alongside many awesome partners to address the needs of the western Palm Beach County tri-city communities,” said Ms. Moreland. “This recognition of our hospital underscores the dedication we have to reflect and respect the patients we serve.”
Additional ranking information, including an explanation of methods, is available at LownHospitalsIndex.org/inclusivity. The full 2022 Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility, including rankings across more than 50 metrics, is scheduled for release in late June.
About the Health Care District
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County provides primary medical care and dental services for adults and children at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, a coordinated and lifesaving Trauma System that includes two FAA-certified Trauma Hawk air ambulances, registered nurses in nearly 170 public schools, short and long-term skilled nursing at the Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riviera Beach, and acute care at its teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, which is accredited by The Joint Commission and serves the rural Glades’ communities.
About the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H80CS25684 for Health Center Cluster in the award amount of $7,278,563. Of the total project, 83% is financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. The C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics were granted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deeming status effective January 1, 2022.