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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization recently released its 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting a decade of progress in LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare.
The 10th edition of the HEI included new criteria that raised the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time, HEI participants were awarded numerical scores for their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four areas; LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, fully-inclusive employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. St. Mary Medical Center received the maximum score in each section, for a total score of 100, earning the coveted status.
Ace Robinson, Executive Director of St. Mary’s HIV program, the CARE Center, expressed the significance, “Diversity is core to the way that I choose to live my life. That is what drew me to Long Beach and at St. Mary Medical Center to work at the CARE Center. An open community that commits itself to uplifting all members, including those who identify as LGBTQ, intrigued me, especially one that unapologetically remains strong in its desire to reduce the impact of HIV. In the United States those people are disproportionately LGBTQ and/or people of color – in other words: like me.”
“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”