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Member News - Hackensack Meridian Health

Hackensack University Medical Center, a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health family, has once again earned the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. HackensackUMC was one of only 10 hospitals in New Jersey and the only hospital in Bergen County to be given this title.

The designation was reported in the 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting on a decade of progress in LGBTQ healthcare. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2017 survey. In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals. Of all those included in the HEI, 302 earned a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

“At HackensackUMC, we are proud to be continually recognized as a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.  We continue to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all our patients, their loved ones and our team members – regardless of race, nationality or sexual orientation,” said Ihor Sawczuk, M.D., president, HackensackUMC.

“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. 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 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past 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 10th edition of the HEI implements new criteria that raise the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time ever, HEI participants are given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented: 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 for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” HackensackUMC earned a perfect score in all four categories.

In the 2017 report, an impressive 302 facilities — 51 percent of those actively participating in the survey — met the more challenging criteria to earn this designation. Another 145 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 76 percent of actively-participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, it is clear that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics in adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

Of the hospitals who did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 61 percent have policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 52 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 95 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.

About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is education arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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