Oregon Health & Science University today was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader — earning a perfect score of 100 in an evaluation of OHSU’s policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of its LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
In the 15th anniversary edition of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a record 906 health care institutions participated.
“We are honored by this recognition, and we thank the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for its work over the past 15 years to inspire better, more inclusive health care settings for LGBTQ+ communities,” said Amy Penkin, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., clinical program manager of the OHSU Transgender Health Program. “Our policies, procedures and resources make a real difference in the lives of patients, community members and colleagues to help them feel respected in the health care environment. We are committed to the ongoing efforts to achieve meaningful change that will create a truly affirming, inclusive and welcoming environment for all LGBTQ+ individuals.”
The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria, falling under four central pillars:
- Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care
- LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support
- Employee Benefits and Policies
- Patient and Community Engagement
“Every person deserves to have access to quality health care, 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 health care 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 health care providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the health care industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”
In the 2022 report, 496 facilities earned the top LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation, receiving the maximum score in each section for an overall score of 100. Another 251 facilities earned the Top Performer designation with scores between 80 and 95 points, and at least partial credit in each section. Fully 82% of participating facilities scored 80 points or more — demonstrating improving policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care nationwide, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation noted.
The HEI survey found that:
- 93% of participants met the index’s training requirements, completing more than 200,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.
- 82% of participating facilities earned either the Leader or Top Performer.
- 99% of survey participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient nondiscrimination policy.
- 99% of survey participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
81% of survey participants offer transgender-inclusive health care benefits to their employees — up from 75% in 2019, which was the first year this was required in order to obtain leader status.