Philly hospitals among most LGBT-friendly in the nation

Nine Philadelphia-area health-care facilities are national leaders in LGBT patient care, according to the 2018 Healthcare Equality Index, an online survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hospital, Mazzoni Center, Temple University Hospital and Einstein Medical Center were among those that received a perfect score on a 100-point scale for criteria ranging from nondiscrimination policies, LGBT-specific patient care, employee benefits and engagement with the LGBT community. Four Philadelphia facilities received perfect scores in 2017.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital scored 70 out of 100 points on the survey. Hahnemann University Hospital, Cooper University Heath Care and Kennedy University Hospital did not participate. Jefferson had previously scored 100 points in 2016 and 55 points in 2017.

“Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals has set a goal to be a LGBT Healthcare Quality Leader on the HRC’s annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI),” Chief Diversity Officer Joseph Hill told PGN. “Plans include ramping up efforts around existing staff education and supplier diversity. “Our mission is to care for all with dignity and respect and to break down barriers to health equity.”

The HEI is a “roadmap” to equal care for LGBT patients, HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

It is “crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” Griffin said. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBT community, and we commend them for their leadership.”

The HEI began in 2007 and is open to all healthcare organizations with 100 or more employees. This year, the index results show a 59-percent increase in hospitals that have written gender-transition guidelines, a 42-percent increase in trans-inclusive benefits and a 63-percent increase in recorded hours of LGBT-care training. The index also rates best practices such as participation in local LGBT events, resource groups for LGBT employees and policies that specifically aim to eliminate bias toward LGBT patients. Organizations that receive a score of 100 are designated as LGBT Healthcare Equality Leaders.

“Our goal is to continue to listen, learn, heal and grow,” said Linda A. Hawkins of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “By listening to our LGBT patients, families and staff, we will remain responsive to the needs of our community. While we are enjoying the HRC endorsement, we want to continue to learn how to be better providers, locally and regionally, both in quality and scope of our care.”

A Temple University Hospital spokesperson said the HEI provides tools to train staff and internally course-correct.

“The area we’re in, we serve the underserved community,” said Ben Moore, Temple operations manager. “It’s important that we not leave out our LGBT patients. We did score a 100, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done. We’ve been focusing on making our culture here so much better.”