The national Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation of Washington, DC, has announced that Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital has earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” designation, with a score of 95 out of 100 in the Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey, and 251 of those earned “Top Performer” designation.
Only two Vermont hospitals, Grace Cottage and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, earned “Top Performer” status with scores of 95/100.
The HRC Foundation’s HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
- Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care;
- LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support;
- Employee Benefits and Policies; and,
- Patient and Community Engagement.
HRC Foundation’s Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging, says that, “Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment.”
Hanneman adds that, “The HEI, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”
2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the HEI campaign.