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Dignity Health—Mercy & Memorial Hospitals Receive “LGBTQ+ Equality Leader/High Performer” Recognition in 2024 Healthcare Equality Index

BAKERSFIELD, CA - June 17, 2024 – Dignity Health Bakersfield has been recognized in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2024 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). Memorial Hospital was named an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader, and Mercy Hospital Downtown and Southwest were named LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performers.

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 a mission-driven organization founded to provide care for all, providing welcoming and knowledgeable care for LGBTQ+ patients is an important priority,” said Benjamin Predum, Market President of Dignity Health Central California. “We know that LGBTQ+ people have long faced barriers to accessing health care and that health inequity persists today. This recognition from HEI is a testament to the dedication of our compassionate care teams, who are committed to helping make sure that our LGBTQ+ patients feel welcome, heard, and safe in our care sites every day.”

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

  • Non-discrimination and Staff Training
  • Patient Services and Support
  • Employee Benefits and Policies
  • Patient and Community Engagement, and
  • Responsible Citizenship

In the 2024 report, a record 1,065 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. Of those participants, 384 received the top score of 100, earning the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. LGBTQ+ patients have historically faced significant and longstanding challenges to accessing the care they need, and Mercy & Memorial Hospitals are committed to providing welcoming, compassionate care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families.

As part of the HEI process, Mercy & Memorial hospitals underwent a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. Mercy & Memorial staff 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, and clarified wording in employee benefits to be explicitly inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees – to name just a few examples.

For more information about Mercy & Memorial commitment to LGBTQ+ care, visit


About Dignity Health Bakersfield

Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals is Kern County’s premier healthcare system with three acute care hospitals in Bakersfield and a growing number of medical facilities to meet the needs of our community. With a reputation for providing award-winning care and state-of-the-art services in a compassionate, caring environment, citizens of Bakersfield and the surrounding area know they have access to some of the most advanced medical care available between Los Angeles and Fresno. Our family of services range from our beautiful birth and family care centers to specialized centers of excellence such as the Sarvanand Heart and Brain Center, Grossman Burn Center, the Lauren Small Children’s Center, the Robert A. Grimm Children’s Pavilion for Emergency Services, the Urology Center, and the Orthopedic, Spine and Hand Center.

As the largest healthcare organization in the western United States, Dignity Health is committed to the health and wellbeing of local residents. We also care for the thousands of Mercy and Memorial Hospital employees who call Dignity Health home. As Kern County’s third largest employer, we have much to offer our more than 3,000 employees. Competitive wages and excellent benefits, along with a host of continuing education and career advancement opportunities, make Dignity Health one of Bakersfield’s most sought out workplaces. Delivering on our promise to provide quality, compassionate care is why more than 600 affiliated physicians and specialists choose our care centers for their patients. In addition to our three hospitals, Dignity Health Bakersfield provides a growing number of healthcare facilities to meet the needs of the community, including Millennium Surgery Center, Dignity Health Infusion Center at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, and the Dignity Health Medical Group in Bakersfield.

Publish date: 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Media Contact


Violeta Trujillo

p: (661) 541-0322

[email protected]