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Geisinger joins only 418 healthcare providers nationwide to earn the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation

DANVILLE, Pa. – Seven hospitals in the Geisinger system have earned designations by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's (HRC) 2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index.

Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in Atlantic City, N.J., each earned the LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index “Leader” designation, the highest recognition possible.

Geisinger Bloomsburg HospitalGeisinger Community Medical Center, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital and Geisinger Wyoming Valley received “Top Performer” recognitions from the group.

The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 418 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. 

“We’re committed to creating a comfortable and safe environment for everyone who comes to Geisinger, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or background,” said Amy Brayford, executive vice president, chief human resource officer and chief of staff at Geisinger. “Everyone who walks through our doors deserves to be treated with respect and this recognition shows the progress we’ve made in being a truly caring organization.”

“With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.” 

In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

Of the hospitals who did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 63 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 53 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities. 

“Caring and kindness are at the center of everything we do,” said Arthur Breese, Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “We launched the HEI assessment to ensure that all patients get culturally-sensitive care. This HEI recognition is just the first step in our journey to provide the best possible care to every patient every time. We have much more to do.”

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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