Baptist Health demonstrates continued commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive health care, receiving national recognition
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) released its 12th annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), which scored all Baptist Health hospitals as “Top Performers.”
August 26, 2019 | Jacksonville, FL
Dedicated to the mission of providing quality health care services in an atmosphere that fosters respect and compassion, Baptist Health has a long history of commitment to equitable treatment and inclusion of all patients, visitors and team members.
For the third year in a row, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) scored all Baptist Health hospitals, including Wolfson Children’s Hospital, as Top Performers in its annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
The HRC is the education arm of the United States’ largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people. The HEI is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates hospitals and healthcare facilities on policies and best practices in LGBTQ patient-centered care in four key areas:
1. Non-discrimination and staff training
2. Patient services and support
3. Employee benefits and policies
4. Patient and community engagement
“We are proud to be recognized once again as a Top Performer in the Healthcare Equality Index,” said Brett McClung, FACHE, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “At Baptist Health, we foster an environment that prioritizes inclusion through mutual respect and compassion for our team members, patients and families, every interaction, every time.”
LGBTQ patients face significant challenges in healthcare. According to the HRC, 56% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people report experiences of serious discrimination in healthcare and 70% of transgender people report serious discrimination. The HEI enables healthcare organizations to assess policies and practices per national requirements and expert recommendations to make improvements in equality.
In just the past year, Baptist Health has implemented policies and practices to lead the way in the Jacksonville community for inclusion. These changes include, but are not limited to:
- Implemented a focused effort to increase LGBT+ cultural competency training for all team members and nurse residents
- Created policy for caring for transgender patients
- Developed benefits for Baptist Health team members related to transition
- Formalized LGBT+ team member resource group, known as BaptistPRIDE
- Partnered with The LGBTQ Fund to conduct a health and wellness assessment of LGBT+ people in Jacksonville
“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients,” said Alphonso David, HRC president. “Going beyond inclusive nondiscrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”
A record of 680 health care facilities participated in this year’s survey. The full HEI 2019 is available for download. For Baptist Health’s LGBT+ care and resources, visit baptistjax.com/patient-info/lgbt-health-resources.