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VUMC lauded for health care equality efforts

Apr. 6, 2017, 10:11 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has again been named a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2017.

This is the sixth year in a row that Vanderbilt received the designation. It is one of three organizations in Tennessee to be recognized.

When the Medical Center first received this designation in 2012 it was the only hospital in the state named.

“This acknowledgement by the HRC shows our commitment to welcoming and serving LGBTQI people,” said Del Zimmerman, manager for the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQI Health.

“Vanderbilt has continued to demonstrate a strong commitment toward LGBTQI health equity. We are able to connect patients with culturally competent health care professionals as well as provide continuing education to our staff about unique health care needs of the LGBTQI community.”

Vanderbilt is among the first academic medical centers to both achieve HEI Leadership designation and form an office dedicated to LGBTQI health and equality.

The scoring criteria for the recognition was updated for the 2017 equality index. Under the new system, a facility needs to receive a score of 100 points to be designated as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

Facilities received points for meeting specific requirements and by having a certain number of best practices and policies in place. Four new core objectives were added for HEI 2017:

• Ensure foundational protection for patients, visitors and staff in patient and staff policies and provide cultural competency training on LGBTQ inclusion

• Demonstrate progress toward inclusion on LGBTQ patient care and support

• Cultivate an inclusive workforce by providing LGBTQ-inclusive employee support and benefits

• Demonstrate public commitment to the LGBTQ community

HEI is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

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