REDDING, Calif. (March 28, 2022) – Dignity Health North State Hospitals - Mercy Medical Center Redding, Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital have been recognized as an 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.
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. Dignity Health hospitals in the North State are among 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 we are 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, Dignity Health worked with a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ health expert to undertake a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. We have 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 Dignity Health's commitment to LGBTQ+ care, visit www.dignityhealth.org/lgbtqcare.
About Dignity Health North State
Dignity Health’s three accredited, not-for-profit hospitals in the North State—Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, Mercy Medical Center Redding, and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff— have received national recognition for superior safety and quality. Each is passionate about providing an exceptional patient experience, investing in our communities, advocating for the underserved, and delivering quality, affordable health services to anyone in need. The hospitals also offer a broad array of outpatient services and the senior services of Connected Living. Visit www.mercy.org to learn more.