LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2015) — UK HealthCare will be featured as an Equality Leader in the 2016 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation based in Washington D.C. The HEI was created to give health care facilities, like UK HealthCare, the resources they need to ensure LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) patients have access to patient-centered care.
UK HealthCare’s achievement was granted based on four core criteria: patient nondiscrimination policies, visitation policies, employment nondiscrimination policies and training in LGBT patient-centered care.
This achievement indicates UK HealthCare’s status as an official leader in LGBT health care access and nondiscrimination. The distinction is shared with only two other facilities in Kentucky, one of them the UK HealthCare-managed Eastern State Hospital. UK HealthCare is the only academic medical center in the state to earn this distinction.
Tukea Talbert, assistant hospital administrator facilitating and coordinating diversity and inclusion efforts taking place enterprise wide, said this “a monumental achievement for UK because it’s one of many initiatives under way to create a more diverse and inclusive health care environment for patients and their families, staff, students and faculty.”
While this is a step in the right direction, the real work is ahead, Talbert added. “The designation recognizes UK Healthcare for meeting four core principles and now we must move the needle to expand those efforts to adopt other best practices as it relates to caring for LGBT patients and their families in a welcoming health care environment free from discrimination, as described by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.”
Lance Poston, director of the UK Office of LGBTQ* Resources, was part of the UK HealthCare team that developed and submitted UK’s credentials to the Human Rights Campaign. He said the project was “a way to recognize UK's inclusive policies that make our hospitals and other facilities safe and welcoming spaces for Kentuckians of all gender identities and sexualities.
“The major factors that contributed to our designation as an Equality Leader include our inclusive visitation and medical decision making policies. With this award, we are also able to highlight our providers who are devoted to providing world-class care with the highest levels of cultural competency. This designation raises our profile as an institution committed to diversity and inclusivity in many forms, from our classrooms to our clinics and beyond,” said Poston.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation developed the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for LGBT Americans to meet “the need for equitable, knowledgeable, sensitive and welcoming healthcare, free from discrimination.”
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