Five UC Health medical centers have been recognized as leaders in LGBTQ+ health care equality by the Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, a national LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.
The Healthcare Equality Index, or HEI, is a tool used to gauge the equity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, staff and visitors at health care facilities across the country, according to the HRC website. Every year, the HRC recognizes health care facilities that participate in the HEI.
The HEI measures facilities in four categories: patient services and support, employee benefits, community engagement and LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination policy, which encompasses policy toward patients, employees and visitors, according to a UC press release.
Health care facilities that achieve a score of 100, the highest possible score, on the HEI are given the distinction of “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,” according to the website. This year, 495 health care facilities were given the designation of LGBTQ+ health care leader.
Included in the 495 were five UC medical centers. UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UCSF all received the designation, according to the press release.
“University of California Health academic health centers have a track record of actions to promote equitable LGBTQ health care and most have been recognized for multiple years on the index,” said UCOP spokesperson Heather Harper in an email.
According to the email, UC hospitals have a history of pioneering policies promoting LGBTQ+ health care, including UCSF launching the first LGBTQ+ office in health care, UCSF creating the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health as well as the Center for Lesbian Health Research — the only one of its kind — and UCLA establishing a fellowship to train physicians in health care for gender and sexual minorities.
“When a patient, employee or visitor comes to a UC hospital, we want them to know they are seen and respected,” said Carrie Byington, UC Health executive vice president, in the UC press release. “We are gratified by this recognition, and we also know that the pursuit of an inclusive, equitable environment requires ongoing commitment and action.”