DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger’s health care equality and inclusion efforts are again being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) with nine Geisinger hospitals earning top honors for care surrounding the LGBTQ community. For 2019, eight Geisinger hospitals received the highest designation possible, the “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, and one hospital earned a “Top Performer” designation.
According to this year’s report, seven of Geisinger’s Pennsylvania hospitals earned Leader designations, the most Leader designations of any health care system in the Commonwealth. Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, Geisinger Medical Center, Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center each earned Leader designations. Geisinger Marworth Treatment Center received the Top Performer designation.
Hospitals earning the Leader designation scored 100, the highest score possible, on responses to questions about LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. Question topics included non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement.
“Each and every day Geisinger strives to provide an inclusive environment for our Geisinger family and for anyone choosing us for their health care,” said Brion Lieberman, Geisinger vice president, human resources. “We are proud to provide culturally sensitive care to our patients and a supportive environment for our employees. Earning these top scores validates our efforts to create meaningful impact in support of diversity and inclusion at Geisinger.”
A record 680 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation developed the HEI to meet a deep and urgent need on the part of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans. In the 2019 report, 406 facilities earned Leader designation. Another 148 facilities earned the Top Performer designation for scoring 80 to 95 points. With 81 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
“We’re dedicated to making health care easier for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Arthur Breese, director of Geisinger’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “We have developed and implemented tools in our electronic health record to guide our providers in making our patients more comfortable and to provide culturally competent care. We will continue our efforts to maintain high equality scores by continuing to support our patient and employees.”
Geisinger’s electronic health record design includes recording a patient’s preferred name, sexual orientation, preferred pronoun, gender identify, sex observed at birth, and family inclusive values. Having this information available to clinicians and care teams supports health maintenance and clinical decision making. Geisinger continues to enhance efforts to make health care more inclusive and address diversity in the workplace. Geisinger’s G-PRIDE (Geisinger – People Ready for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality) employee resource group is a source of support for LGBTQ employees that also works to educate and enhance understanding surrounding LGBTQ issues.
Additional 2019 HEI highlights include:
- Over half of HEI participants now have written gender transition guidelines;
- 75 percent of hospitals surveyed offer trans-inclusive benefits -- an impressive 8 percentage point increase over last year, and numbers that bring them on par with their corporate counterparts, as measured by HRC’s 2019 CEI;
- A 35 percent increase in training hours recorded -- clocking in at more than 94,000 hours of LGBTQ care training provided;
- A 60 percent increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient's sexual orientation, and a 40 percent increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient's gender identity.
This is the 12th edition of the HEI, developed to address the need for equitable, knowledgeable, sensitive and welcoming healthcare, free from discrimination. No one facing health concerns should also have to worry about receiving inequitable or substandard care because of their LGBTQ status.
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 Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.