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Dominican Hospital Receives “LGBTQ+ Equality Top Performer” Recognition in 2022 Healthcare Equality Index


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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (March 28, 2022) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been recognized as a LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).

The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.

“As caregivers, we are always actively seeking tools to help us enhance the care we provide for all our patients,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanetee Mickiewicz, MD. “Following the comprehensive framework outlined in the HEI application has helped us implement best practices for LGBTQ+ care, including policy enhancements, staff training, and additional support for patients and families."

The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:

  • Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care;
  • LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support;
  • Employee Benefits and Policies; and,
  • Patient and Community Engagement.

In the 2022 report, 496 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 251 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation with scores between 80 and 95 points and at least partial credit in each section. With 82% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to developing, adopting, and implementing policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care. Dominican Hospital is one of dozens of Dignity Health care sites recognized in the 2022 HEI.

LGBTQ+ patients have historically faced significant and longstanding challenges to accessing the care they need, and Dominican Hospital is committed to providing welcoming, compassionate care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families.

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust,  comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

As part of the HEI process, Dominican Hospital worked with a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ health expert to undertake a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. Dominican Hospital updated dozens of policies to support LGBTQ+ health care outcomes, expanded training for staff and clinicians, updated patient forms and IT processes to better capture preferred pronouns and solicit feedback from LGBTQ+ patients, created the role of an LGBTQ+ patient advocate, and clarified wording in employee benefits to be explicitly inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees – to name just a few examples. 

For more information about Dominican Hospital’s commitment to LGBTQ+ care, visit http://www.dignityhealth.org/lgbtqcare.

About Dominican Hospital 

Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for generations. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican Hospital offers a comprehensive, Baby-Friendly designated Birth Center, and provides an on-site Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through a partnership with Stanford Children’s Health. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence. Dominican Hospital is planning a $360 million renovation and expansion to ensure that the growing Santa Cruz County community can access world class health care well into the future. The project will allow for advanced technology, new state-of-the-art facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit dignityhealth.org/dominican.

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Publish Date: 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Media Contact

Kevin Kimbrough, External Communications Manager

p: (310) 698-9903

[email protected]