Area hospitals listed as equality leaders in national index

Ioannis Pashakis//September 2, 2020

Area hospitals listed as equality leaders in national index

Ioannis Pashakis//September 2, 2020

A number of midstate hospitals, including UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, were listed as “equality leaders” for their LGBTQ care policies and practices by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Every year, the foundation releases its Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a national record of hundreds of health care facilities that are scored depending on the treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

The index looks at criteria such as patient services and support, employee benefits and polices, non-discrimination and staff training and patient and community engagement.

Facilities are given the title of “equality leader” if they score above a 95 on the index. Local hospitals that earned that honor included Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle, Community Osteopathic, Harrisburg and West Shore.

Any hospitals not listed didn’t participate in the foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2020 survey.

“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s HEI are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients,” said Alphonso David, president of the D.C.-based foundation.

Pittsburg-based UPMC had 26 of its Pennsylvania hospitals make the index, with 10 of those hospitals reaching the index’s “equality leader” status. Dr. James Taylor, chief diversity, inclusion and talent management office at UPMC, said that the system was proud of its hospital’s dedication to inclusive policies and practices.

“UPMC is committed to supporting its diverse patient population, including members of the LGBTQ community,” he said. “Improving health care equity across all of the communities UPMC serves is crucial.”