West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
West Palm Beach VA Named LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader
April 12, 2018
West Palm Beach VA Medical Center joins only 418 healthcare providers nationwide to earn the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation
West Palm Beach, Fla. -- The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has been designated as a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released recently. This year 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with the HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. West Palm Beach VA was one of 418 facilities included in the HEI that earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.
“Providing inclusive and high-quality health care for all Veterans is one of our top clinical priorities here at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center,” said Acting Chief of Staff Dr. Ronald Williams, Jr. “We are proud to be recognized by the HRC for our efforts and we are working continuously to enhance our services for all Veterans to include those in the LGBTQ community.”
“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.”
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.”
In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
Of the hospitals who did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 63 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 53 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.