UW Medicine Hospitals ID’d as ‘Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality’

All four facilities earn inclusion in Human Rights Campaign’s U.S. index

UW Medicine’s four hospitals are leaders in respecting healthcare equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT organization.

Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center each met criteria for inclusion in the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index, the HRC’s list of U.S. inpatient facilities.

“Our hospitals take pride in creating a welcoming environment and providing inclusive care to all patients and families,” said Johnese Spisso, Chief Health System Officer, UW Medicine, and Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington. “We are proud to demonstrate UW Medicine’s commitment to equal access for LGBT community members.”

This year, 464 facilities nationwide, nearly double last year’s total of 234, met the HRC’s survey criteria in four core areas of policy and training:

  • Equal patient access to care
  • Equal visitation access for people identified as family members
  • Equal access to employment
  • Completion of LGBT education by key hospital staff

“These kinds of indices are useful in that they allow you to see the standard of care in our country, so you can meet or exceed it,” said Dr. Shilpen Patel, a UW Medicine radiation oncologist and secretary to the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation. He also just finished a two-year term as chair of Equal Rights Washington.

“I’m a cancer doctor,” he said. “It’s very difficult for patients to get through care without their support network. Families in the LGBT community come in different shapes, and when patients aren’t afraid to bring in their spouse or partner or their kids, it’s a healthier experience all around. This is delivering the patient-centered care that we talk about.”

For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.

 HEI Award 2013