August 2, 2011

UW Medicine highlighted in Healthcare Equality Index 2011

UW Medicine health system is proud to be included as a leader in the Healthcare Equality Index 2011, an annual report published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  The index focuses on key policies and practices that lay the foundation for a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients, families and staff.  These policies include patient and employment non-discrimination, visitation and cultural competency training for staff.

UW Medicine earned top marks for its policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and families. The health system joins a total of 87 survey respondents, representing 375 facilities rated in the report.  California had the most rated facilities, with a total of 73. Group Health was also cited as a leader in the 2011 index.

UW Medicines efforts in ensuring healthcare equality for LGBT patients and families earned the organization the distinction of being among the 27 survey respondents to meet all applicable criteria.

“Our mission is to improve health and it is essential that we treat our patients, families and staff in an environment that is all inclusive,” said Johnese Spisso, chief health system officer, UW Medicine, and vice president of medical affairs, University of Washington.  “Being featured as a leader in the Human Rights Campaign Foundations Healthcare Equality Index highlights our mission and also underscores our commitment to our patients and staff, regardless of race, color, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.”

UW Medicines family and visitor policy states that visitation privileges are not restricted, limited or denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.  Similarly, UW Medicines patient rights policy states that patients have the right to reasonable access to care and treatment that are available or medically advisable regardless of ones race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, status as a disabled veteran, having an Advanced Directive or ability to pay for care.

Visit the foundation’s website for more information on the Healthcare Equality Index 2011, or to download a free copy of the report.