WASHINGTON -- Today, Saint Luke’s Health System announced their “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today. A record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 495 earned an “LGBTQ health care Equality Leader” designation.
“To have all of our eligible campuses recognized is a tremendous accomplishment and speaks to our dedication across the health system to serve and care for the LGBTQ community,” said Nikki Beard, Saint Luke’s Health System Director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives. “We are extremely proud to have eight of our hospitals represented as part of a relatively small group of healthcare leaders committed to providing the highest level of care to these patients.”
Saint Luke’s Health System campuses recognized include; Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Saint Luke’s East Hospital, Saint Luke’s North Hospital – Barry Road, Saint Luke’s North Hospital – Smithville, Wright Memorial Hospital, and Hedrick Medical Center in Missouri and Saint Luke’s South Hospital and Anderson County Hospital in Kansas. Each of the Saint Luke’s facilities received a score of 100 and earned the “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation. This is the sixth year that at least one of Saint Luke’s campuses have been recognized.
“Saint Luke’s is an organization that values and respects each and every patient who walks through our doors, and we strive to provide them with safe, patient-centered, compassionate, and equitable care,” Michael Weaver, M.D., FACEP, CDM, Saint Luke’s Health System’s Medical Director of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program and Medical Director of Clinical Forensic Medicine said. “We recognize that discrimination against the health care needs of any patient ultimately hurts us all. We’re proud that this designation helps affirm our commitment to providing exceptional care to the LGBTQ community, and to all Kansas City communities we serve.”
In the 2020 report, 495 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 193 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 90% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
The remarkable progress reflected in the 2020 HEI includes:
- 92% of participants met the HEI's training requirements, completing more than 150,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
- 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
- 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
- 53% of HEI participants indicated that their facility has a policy or policies that specifically outline procedures and practices aimed at eliminating bias and insensitivity, and ensuring appropriate, welcoming interactions with transgender patients.
- After many years of trailing their corporate counterparts in the provision of transgender-inclusive health care benefits for employees, HEI participating healthcare facilities are nearly on par with the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) participants as 80% have at least one health care plan that offered this benefit. The latest CEI noted 85% of participants having such benefits.
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the horrific incidents of racial violence targeting the Black community, the events of the past year have brought about so much pain and uncertainty. Yet, even during this moment of profound unrest, we are seeing more of our humanity and resilience come to life. For me, nowhere is that more true than through the tireless dedication of our health care providers and the intrepid support and administrative staff members by their sides that show up every day to ensure this life-saving work continues,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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. In addition, many have made strong statements on racial justice and equity and are engaging in efforts to address racial inequities in their institutions and their communities. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”
In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies at over 1,000 non-participating hospitals. Unfortunately, the adoption rate at these researched hospitals stands in stark contrast to the near-perfect adoption by active participants. Among the researched hospitals in which HRC was able to find or obtain enumerated patient non-discrimination policies, only 67% have policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 63% were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93%, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the education arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Saint Luke’s is a faith-based, not-for-profit, aligned health system committed to providing the highest levels of excellence in compassionate health care and health-related services. Saint Luke’s has more than 18 hospitals and campuses and more than 200 primary care and specialty offices treating patients in 65 specialty services across 67 counties in Missouri and Kansas. Saint Luke’s has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the elite hospitals in the nation. For more than 135 years, Saint Luke’s has been dedicated to enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the diverse communities we serve. Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn