Hunterdon Health one of 496 healthcare providers nationwide earning the coveted “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation
Hunterdon Health has received an evaluation score of 100 and the designation of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 15th anniversary edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors, and employees.
“For nearly 70 years, Hunterdon Health has been focused on two priorities: providing the most compassionate, exceptional, patient-centered care possible and attracting and retaining the best employees, clinicians, and providers to improve the health and lives of our patients,” said Patrick J. Gavin, President and CEO, Hunterdon Health. “Our ability to remain successful in both of these areas is due to our long-standing commitment to supporting a family-centric, compassionate, and supportive culture built upon strong values, which include inclusivity, adaptability, authenticity, empowerment, and accountability. We take great pride in receiving this designation again and remain committed to retaining this honor in the future.”
“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”
The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies for LGBTQ+ inclusion at over 1,300 non-participating hospitals. Unfortunately, these research hospitals were much less likely to have LGBTQ+ non-discrimination policies in place, which is a stark contrast to the near-perfect adoption by active participants. Among the researched hospitals in which we were able to find or obtain enumerated patient non-discrimination policies, only 70% have policies that include both sexual orientation and gender identity compared to 99% of HEI participants.