Public Health System Earns “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” Designation From Harlem To Hollis

April 3, 2017

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that 22 patient care locations in the City’s essential public health care system have received the designation “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2017. The 22 patient care locations are found in all five boroughs—including in Brooklyn, where no other provider was so recognized.

The honor acknowledges hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes across the country that embrace LGBTQ inclusion and patient-centered care.

“NYC Health + Hospitals has been a leader in caring for LGBTQ patients,” said Matilde Roman, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals. “We are fully committed to providing our staff with specialized trainings so our LGBTQ patients receive responsive health care in a welcoming environment. We have made significant investments in staff training programs and have zero tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“I’m proud that the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has named NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and 21 other locations of NYC Health + Hospitals to its annual list of ‘Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,’” said New York State Senator Brad Holyman. “This important national recognition is well-deserved since NYC Health + Hospitals has a tradition of pioneering diversity and inclusion in the workplace and developing specialized programs to effectively serve the healthcare needs of our city’s diverse LGBTQ community.”

“By having twenty-two of its patient care locations recognized as ‘Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,’ NYC Health + Hospitals continues to demonstrate its commitment to equally providing healthcare services to all New Yorkers regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I commend the efforts of our City’s public healthcare system for adhering to the values of equality and respect for all and I look forward to continue working with them to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to affordable and quality healthcare.”

“I congratulate NYC Health + Hospitals on having twenty-two of its patient care locations designated a ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried of Manhattan, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “New York City is a national leader both on public health issues and on treating underserved communities, and all New Yorkers should be proud of their public hospital system on earning this honor.”

“I am extremely proud of our public health care system. Despite being chronically underfunded, NYC Health + Hospitals continues to be a leader in providing culturally competent patient care,” said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. “I applaud the 22 patient care locations that have been designated ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.”

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“The health of our communities is of the utmost importance, especially for the vulnerable among us who often receive inadequate care or are overlooked in the healthcare system – including the LGBTQ community,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I congratulate the NYC Health + Hospitals on receiving the ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ designation for their important work, and I am confident they will continue being a force for positive change in our City.”

“Congratulations to all the awarded Brooklyn hospitals that form part of the New York City Health + Hospitals network for this recognition from the Human Rights Campaign,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Achieving all the parameters of the Health Equality Index is a wonderful testament to this hospital network’s commitment to LGBTQ equality in patient care, family visitation, and employment rights. We have come a long way in the past two decades from the days when LGBTQ people could not see their partner in the hospital, or were forced to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity from their doctor. Now we can proudly say that Brooklyn is the home of many hospitals that provide comprehensive LGBTQ health services, counseling, and research. We must continue the hard work to ensure all of our medical staff across the borough from large hospitals to small primary care facilities receive full training and provide care for the LGBTQ community.”

“Queens is proud of our two NYC Health + Hospitals hospitals that have earned the prestigious ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Members of our LGBTQ community deserve nothing less than high-quality medical care, and they can get that care right here in ‘The World’s Borough’ without fear of discrimination.  Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals on its receipt of this wonderful honor.”

“Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals for being recognized as a ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,’” said Alyssa Aguilera, Co-Executive Director, VOCAL-NY. “We are proud that New York City is home to such a culturally competent and accessible healthcare system, which will lay the foundation for eliminating health disparities for New York’s most vulnerable residents.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals and BOOM!Health have a long-standing commitment to working collaboratively to provide remarkable health and wellness services to Bronx residents,” said Jose M. Davila, President & CEO of BOOM!Health. “We’re thrilled that they are being recognized for their city-wide commitment to creating LGBTQ affirming work spaces and patient experiences.” 

“I am overjoyed to learn that NYC Health + Hospitals has been designated as a ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ from the Human Rights Campaign Fund for 2017,” said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “Numerous studies have shown that LGBTQ patients often choose to avoid urgent healthcare needs if their sources of that care do not treat them with respect and do not make them feel safe and welcomed.  It is a testament to Mayor De Blasio and the City of New York’s commitment to LGBTQ Equity that this designation has been earned.”

“Congratulations to the 22 patient care locations in NYC’s Health + Hospitals essential public health care system who received the ‘Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Kimberleigh Joy Smith, MPA, Senior Director for Community Health Planning and Policy at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. “As an LGBTQ centered federally-qualified healthcare center, Callen-Lorde knows firsthand just how very important the provision of culturally-competent and sensitive care is to the health outcomes for LGBTQ individuals and achieving health equity for our community at large. We believe true liberation will only come when we and our families can access quality, sensitive care in all its forms. We’re delighted that so many of New York City’s public health centers are investing in this ideal and making it a reality.”

“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. With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. 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.”

This year NYC Health + Hospitals increased its number of “Leader”-designated patient care locations, despite more rigorous criteria. For the first time ever, Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) participants have been scored in four criteria: Foundational Elements of LGBTQ Patient-Centered Care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Only participants that receive the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earned the “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

Accomplishments in LGBTQ Health Care:

·         In 2011, NYC Health + Hospitals became the first public health care system in the United States to mandate LGBT Cultural Competence Training for staff, and it has continued to develop and evolve LGBTQ training.

·         In 2014, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan was the first public hospital in New York City to open an LGBTQ Health Center to help reduce barriers and increase access to health care for the LGBTQ community. Last year, the hospitalexpanded its health services for transgender patients, including gender-affirming surgeries and increased access to hormone therapy. 

·         Earlier this year, the health system received a multi-million dollar grant from the New York State Department of Health for staff training, which includes strategies for fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace related to LGBTQ issues.

·         NYC Health + Hospitals has partnered with the National LGBT Health Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute, to optimize the health system’s ability to effectively serve LGBTQ communities by creating a certification track for physicians interested in completing intensive training to increase core competencies in LGBTQ health services. The pilot program will launch in April.

The complete list of 22 NYC Health + Hospitals patient care locations recognized as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation:

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