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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.
“One of the first things that attracted me to St. Mary and the Long Beach area was the genuine inclusiveness I felt. I am proud of the commitment of the hospital staff to provide quality, compassionate care to everyone who walks through our doors,” stated Carolyn Caldwell, St. Mary Hospital President. “Being recognized as a leader in LGBTQ healthcare is gratifying for our staff and a reassuring message for the thousands of clients served by the hospital’s CARE Center, an HIV treatment and prevention program.”
The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.” St. Mary Medical Center received the maximum score in each section, for a total score of 100, earning the coveted leader status.
“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 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a 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.”
Founded as a faith-based hospital in 1923 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center is a 389-bed, acute care, nonprofit hospital located in Long Beach, California. The hospital offers a full complement of services, including a Level II trauma center, cardiac and vascular center, surgical weight loss, maternity, and the CARE Center, which is a recognized PrEP center of excellence. The hospital shares a legacy of humankindness with Dignity Health, one of the nation’s five largest health care systems.
Christina Zicklin, Southern California External Communications Director