April 15, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

UCS Medical Center Earns LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

LAC+USC Medical Center scored 100 to receive Human Rights Campaign’s LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader

By Susan Payne

The LAC+USC Medical Center scored 100 on its evaluation to receive the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation for the Human Rights Campaign 15th anniversary edition of the Healthcare Equality Index. 

HEI surveys healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. This year, the index had a record 906 healthcare facilities who actively participated and 496 earned the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation, according to The Los Angeles Blade.

“We are very pleased to be a recipient of the 2022 LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation.  Our healthcare professionals take great pride in providing world-class care and helping to advance the level of care equality to our LGBTQ patients and their families,” said Jorge Orozco, chief executive officer of LAC+USC Medical Center.  

“LAC+USC Medical Center is proud to provide high quality, patient-centered healthcare to our LGBTQ community, and to be a place of work where our staff thrive as their authentic selves,” said Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer of LAC+USC Medical Center.

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, director of health and aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

Criteria for the designation is evaluated under four pillars:

  • Foundational policies and training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care
  • LGBTQ+ patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • Patient and community engagement

A little more than half of the participating healthcare centers received the maximum score in each pillar, earning the highest designation. Another 251 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation with scores between 80 and 95 points and partial credit in each section, the Blade reported. 

Eighty-two percent of facilities scored 80 or more points, indicative of healthcare centers going beyond the basics when it comes to LGBTQ+ care, the Blade reported.

Additional progress in the 2022 HEI includes:

  • More than 200,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care has been completed by 93% of HEI participants
  • Eighty-two percent of facilities earned the Leader or Top Performer designations.
  • Healthcare centers that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination amount to the 99% of the participants. 
  • Up from 75% in 2019, 81% of participating centers offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees.

HRC found at 1,300 non-participating hospitals that research hospitals were less likely to have LGBTQ+ non-discrimination policies in place, the Blade reporter. Only 70% of the research hospitals that did have non-discrimination policies in place, only 70% include both sexual orientation and gender identity questions. 

LAC+USC Medical Center is one of the largest public hospitals in the country with a 600-bed, Level One Trauma Center and an academic teaching hospital run by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

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