REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (March 28, 2021) - Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital has been recognized as a LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader 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 Sequoia Hospital President Bill Graham. “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. Sequoia 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 Sequoia 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, Sequoia Hospital worked with a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ health expert to undertake a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. Sequoia 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 Sequoia Hospital’s commitment to LGBTQ+ care, visit www.dignityhealth.org/lgbtqcare.
About Sequoia Hospital
Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital providing innovative and exceptional health care for generations of Bay Area residents. Sequoia’s Heart and Vascular Institute is a nationally known pioneer in advanced cardiac care. Sequoia has received national recognition from Healthgrades for superior patient safety and was named as one of America’s top 100 hospitals for cardiac care. Our Total Joint Replacement program is a designated Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. Our Birth Center is consistently ranked as a favorite among Peninsula families. We are also known for our comprehensive emergency care and leading-edge tomosynthesis 3-D mammogram technology. Our state-of-the-art inpatient pavilion combines the most advanced medical and surgical services with a unique healing environment, including private, spacious rooms and inviting garden areas. To support programs at Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital, visit the Sequoia Hospital Foundation. To learn more about Sequoia Hospital, please visit dignityhealth.org/sequoia.
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