What is the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) Survey?
Last year, over 700 healthcare facilities participated in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) survey to help determine how the needs of the LGBTQ+ community are being served and identify what we in healthcare can do better to provide LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices.
In 2020, healthcare institutions were scored on four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ+ patient-centered care, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement. Healthcare facilities needed to show that they offered transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees, in order to receive a score of 100 points and earn the foundation’s coveted “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality” designation.
In honor of Pride Month, the Vivian team is highlighting some of the top LGBTQ+ inclusive hospitals across the country.
Rush has a long history of having LGBTQ+ friendly policies, a nondiscriminatory work environment, and Rush University Medical Center was the first hospital in Illinois to offer benefits to its transgender employee and beneficiaries. There are 664 beds at Rush Medical Center and over 8000 employees work there. Rush scored as a top leader on the HEI survey and has long participated in advocacy for equality.
All six of the Penn Medicine hospitals were recognized as Equality Leaders, and all were leaders on the HEI survey. Penn Medicine was the first academic medical center in the Northeast to implement a program aimed at improving the health of LGBTQ+ patients, expand the growth and development of LGBTQ+ employees, and initiate research programs with involvement of the LGBTQ community.
Located in NY, Mount Sinai prides itself on comprehensive LGBTQ+ care as well as a welcoming, nurturing work environment. They have policies regarding room assignments and requests from the LGBTQ+ community to ensure privacy and respect. The staff at Mount Sinai are active advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. The publicly support the LGBTQ+ community and work to resolve issues with access to healthcare.
A giant name in the healthcare industry, Kaiser has participated in the HEI survey since 2008, and has achieved a perfect score since 2010. They have also been recognized as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign, the educational branch of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights organization.
Laura Long, vice president of operations, performance, and compliance, National Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity at Kaiser Permanente said:
“This recognition reflects our longstanding commitment to achieving equitable health outcomes for our LGBTQ+ members, patients, and families. Our ongoing work to provide the highest levels of support and opportunity to our LGBTQ+ community is important as underrepresented and marginalized populations increasingly face threats to their civil rights protections.”
The Kaiser CEO also recently made a statement supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to protect the rights of LGBTQ workers.
Located in the greater Boston area, the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) was a top performer in the HEI survey, as mentioned above. CHA has long been investigating healthcare disparities in the LGBTQ+ community, and identifying ways to eliminate them through the care at their facilities. CHA includes Harvard Medical school and a long list of healthcare facilities including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
UCSF Medical Center was the first major hospital in the nation to participate in the Index when it was created in 2007 and is the only institution to have received Equality Leader status every year since then. Their CEO, Mark R. Laret, spoke last year in support of the LGBTQ+ community:
“As we have seen so vividly this year, equity in both health and society is not something that we can address once and be finished,” Laret said. “It requires a constant commitment not only to eliminating inequalities, but also to proactively educating ourselves, so that all members of our community feel included, respected and supported.”
The training and equality measures at UCSF existed long before the HEI, and they are renowned for their strong presence and leadership during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and into the present time, via services, research, and education now clustered in the AIDS Research Institute.
We Support You
Vivian supports equal access to healthcare and acceptance among all humans. In the end, we are all here to care for one another and the HEI survey shows healthcare workers are striving for equality and appropriate multicultural care. Happy Pride!