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UI Health Recognized for Inclusive Care and Policies for LGBT Patients, Visitors, and Employees

Thursday, April 28, 2016

UI Health Recognized for Inclusive Care and Policies for LGBT Patients, Visitors, and EmployeesThe UI Health Hospital & Clinics has been nationally recognized for its inclusive healthcare and policies related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients, visitors, and employees.

UI Health was named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Health Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey that evaluates health systems on key criteria for non-discrimination policies and practices.

Facilities that earn earn the “Leader in Healthcare Equality” designation meet LGBT-inclusive benchmarks in four core criteria:
• Patient Non-discrimination Policies
• Visitation Policies
• Employment Non-discrimination Policies
• Training in LGBT Patient-Centered Care

Less than a quarter of the more than 2,000 HEI-evaluated health facilities were named Healthcare Equality Leaders, and UI Health is just one of 25 Illinois hospitals to achieve the designation.

“UI Health is honored to be recognized for its commitment to LGBT inclusion for our patients, their families, and our employees,” says Mary Jo Smith, chief human resources officer of UI Health Hospital & Clinics. “People should not need to worry about how they will be treated when they need to seek healthcare. Being named a ‘Leader in Healthcare Equality’ tells all of our patients that they will receive complete, compassionate care at UI Health.”

The “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” designation allows health facilities to affirm they comply with federal standards on LGBT healthcare equity and are committed to LGBT-inclusive, patient-centered care.

The HEI survey found that 56 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients and 70 percent of transgender or gender-nonconforming patients have experienced some type of discrimination in their healthcare. The Health Equality Index allows LGBT patients and their loved ones to find facilities that provide equitable and inclusive care.

“Barriers to healthcare exist,” Smith says, “but UI Health continues to work to make access to great healthcare available to everyone in our community.”