By Scott Maier
UCSF Health has been named a 2019 “Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality,” receiving a perfect score on the recent national Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC).— the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.
The designation was reported in the 12th edition of the HEI. A record 680 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey, with 406 earning the “Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality” honor. The HRC Foundation also proactively researched key policies at 1,000 non-participating hospitals nationwide.
HEI participants are given a numerical score in four criteria based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement. Participants receiving the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the status of “Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality.”
UCSF Health has met, and exceeded, all of these criteria since the HEI was created in 2007 by the HRC Foundation, and is one of just a few health care facilities having participated in the index every year.
“We are honored to receive this award from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. It affirms UCSF’s ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality health care for our LGBTQ patients, their families and our employees,” said Mark R. Laret, chief executive officer and president of UCSF Health. “This is a high priority for us.”
UCSF’s LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and training long predate the HEI. In 2004, UCSF Health implemented what was then groundbreaking inclusive language policy that is featured in the prominent Health Care Innovations Exchange of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. UCSF Health also has long provided equal visitation rights for patients’ same-sex partners.
“It is outstanding for UCSF to be recognized for the 12th consecutive year for its commitment to advancing LGBTQ, intersex, asexual and all other sexualities (LGBTQIA+) patient care, research and education,” said Klint Jaramillo, Med, MSW, director of the LGBT Resource Center.
“Our colleagues across the medical center and campus community continue to be pioneering leaders in the field of LGBTQIA+ health care, and we are confident our collective efforts will continue to improve the health of all of our communities. While great progress has been made, there is always more work to be done, and we must remain vigilant.”
UCSF Health is recognized nationally for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team. Its nationally prominent programs include such areas as cancer, diabetes, neurology and neurosurgery, organ transplantation and children’s and women’s health.
“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 HRC President Alphonso David. “Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination 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.”