WILKES BARRE, PA -- Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center has earned the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality designation for its commitment to providing non-discriminatory quality healthcare to the LGBT community.
“Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center is committed to providing LGBT-inclusive health care for our patients,” said Arthur Breese, Geisinger’s director of diversity. “Their practices have addressed health care disparities for LGBT patients in our region.”
GHS is joined this year by a growing number of U.S. healthcare facilities in embracing LGBT-inclusive policies and practice, according to the Health Equality Index (HEI) report. The HEI was released by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
“I commend leaders of these inclusive facilities for using HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index as a roadmap, and for advancing equality in health care for our nation’s LGBT patients, their families, and for medical providers and caregivers,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We still have much work to do to achieve full equality, but today we have a record number of leaders setting an example for other healthcare facilities across our nation.”
According to Breese, the HEI provides a breadth of educational resources for Geisinger’s healthcare providers including resources for online, on-demand staff training to teach best practices for equity and inclusion of LGBT patients.
“These resources help Geisinger caregivers continue to give patient-centered care to a long-over looked group,” said Breese. “The HEI assists in the development of practices and policies that improve the overall patient experience as well as healthcare outcomes and safety for all patients, including those in the LGBT community.”
A record 2,061 healthcare facilities are rated in the HRC Foundation’s 2016 HEI survey, up 37 percent from the last survey. To earn healthcare leader status, facilities must have established LGBT-inclusive patient non-discrimination policies, as well as employment non-discrimination policies that are fully LGBT-inclusive. They also ensure equal visitation rights for LGBT people, patients and families; and their staff members participate in training in LGBT patient-centered care.
Nearly half of the facilities that were independently researched by HRC Foundation staff performed poorly, particularly in the area of non-discrimination policies: only 58 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both sexual orientation and gender identity; and just 53 percent have LGBT-inclusive employment non-discrimination policies. Four states have no facilities earning leader status this year: Alaska, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.