The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. HRC engages with communities and politicians to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Their work touches all facets of society including political advocacy, support for disenfranchised LGBTQ+ communities, as well as activism against stigma and limited access to LGBTQ-aware health care.
Most recently, the HRC awarded five Banner Health hospitals the “LGBTQ Health Care Equity Top Performer” designation. The standards for this achievement are outlined by the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index. This national benchmark evaluates healthcare facilities on their capacity to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices for patients, visitors and employees.
The Banner Health Hospitals that were awarded this designation include Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, Banner Desert Medical Center, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, Banner – University Medical Center South and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.
Nationally, the HEI assessed over 1,700 facilities, 765 of which actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. From this group, 495 earned the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” recognition and 193 achieved the coveted designation of “LGBTQ Health Care Equity Top Performer.”
Initiatives outlined by the HEI include the use of electronic health records that facilitate an inclusive collection of patient gender identities, the formation of internal committees focused on LGBTQ+ healthcare issues and offering transition-related healthcare coverage.
HRC President Alphonso David recognized the importance of these efforts, especially in the backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s HEI are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ+ patients. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all,” David said.
Banner’s efforts come at a time when limited access to health care and the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments have all been compounded by COVID-19. The HRC designation underscores Banner’s commitment to issues that have historically affected how the LGBTQ+ community engages with the healthcare system. These include the gender stigmatization, the pathologizing of LGBTQ+ identities and an absence of reproductive health services for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Banner Health is extremely pleased to have achieved “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation at five of its hospitals; more so, we are proud of our health care teams who work to ensure an inclusive environment for all within their hospital walls,” said Jackie Hunter, the senior director of diversity & inclusion and talent pipeline at Banner Health.
For more information about The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and their work nationally and in Arizona, visit their website, hrc.org.
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