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VUMC lauded for health care equality efforts

Sep. 2, 2020, 2:49 PM


by Doug Campbell

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

VUMC is the only organization in Tennessee to repeatedly be recognized for its commitment to adopting LGBTQ-inclusive patient, visitation and employment policies.

“LGBTQ patients have had a long history of bias and discrimination in health care. Patients and families across the state — as well as the Southeast — reach out to us because of our HEI ranking,” said Del Ray Zimmerman, director of the Office for Diversity Affairs and the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health. “I’ve heard from so many patients who’ve had negative experiences elsewhere. It’s a great source of pride to connect patients with providers who will treat them well and offer the services they need.”

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.

The scoring criteria requires that a facility receives a score of 100 points to be designated as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

A record 765 health care facilities participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 495 earned that designation.

“The health care facilities participating in the HEI are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation 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 Human Rights Campaign.

“In addition, many have made strong statements on racial justice and equity and are engaging in efforts to address racial inequities in their institutions and their communities. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

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