The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Chester County Hospital were announced among the 2018 class of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality Index 2018.” The HRC Foundation is the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
The Healthcare Equality Leaders were selected based on an annual survey identifying healthcare institutions that lead in efforts to offer equitable and inclusive care for LGBT patients by evaluating policies and practices related to LGBT patients and visitors, such as patient services and support, training in LGBTQ patient-centered care, employee benefits and policies, among other areas.
The Healthcare Equality Index 2018 report commends these Penn hospitals, as well as the comprehensive Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health – which prioritizes patient care, research, health education, institutional climate and visibility, and community outreach – and Penn Student Health Services. Additionally, the report notes that, while Pennsylvania lacks significant LGBTQ protections, the Commonwealth is home to healthcare institutions "that have stepped up to ensure that the LGBTQ people in their states have inclusive and welcoming care when they need it."
"This recognition is further acknowledgement of our commitment to advancing LGBT health in patient care, research, and education at Penn Medicine," said Patrick J. Brennan, MD, Penn Medicine's chief medical officer. "It is imperative that we foster an inclusive environment for all patients and deliver the best care available backed by interdisciplinary research combatting disparities and serving the needs of all our patients every day. We are proud to be a leader in LGBT health."
Since the program's inception in 2013, the Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health has provided health education and training initiatives, and facilitated efforts publishing research and delivering presentations on various LGBT health topics. Penn Medicine is the first academic medical center in the Northeast – one among just a handful of academic medical centers in the U.S. – to launch a program across multiple professional schools and affiliated hospitals to improve the health of LGBT individuals. Health disparities and inequalities within this community have become increasingly recognized, but are rarely addressed in today's health care settings.
With more than 3 million members and supporters, the HRC is the largest civil rights organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The Healthcare Equality Index offers healthcare facilities resources to help provide equal care to LGBT patients, as well as assistance in complying with new regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training.