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Published on March 30, 2017

Cone Health Earns Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Designation

Nationwide, only 302 health care providers earned the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

For the fourth year, Cone Health hospitals earned the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). HRC is the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay,

bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. A record 590 health care facilities participated in the 2017 Healthcare Equality Index survey. In addition, the HRC examined key policies at more than 900 nonparticipating hospitals; 302 earned a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

“We are proud to be recognized again this year,” says Paul Jeffrey, Cone Health’s chief inclusion officer. “Cone Health has a very active LGBT Employee Network Group that works to better serve our patients, staff and communities. Embracing and respecting others is central to our values and our ability to deliver exceptional care.”

The Cone Health hospitals earning the designation are Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital and Women’s Hospital.

The 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index survey (HEI) implements new criteria that raise the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. HEI participants are scored on four criteria:

  • Foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care
  • LGBTQ patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • LGBTQ patient and community engagement

“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,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “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 health care facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

Of the hospitals that 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 measure that comes close to matching the rate of participating facilities.

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