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Columbus Regional Health has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2013 report, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. CRH is just one of three Indiana hospitals, and 464 healthcare facilities nationwide, to receive the honor.
Healthcare facilities awarded this designation meet key criteria for equitable care, including non-discrimination policies for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.
Other Indiana healthcare facilities to receive the recognition this year were VA Richard L. Roudebush Medical Center in Indianapolis and Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued rules requiring all hospitals that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to protect the visitation rights of LGBT people.
“We are honored and proud to be recognized for our commitment to a culture of respect, inclusion and equitable treatment for all patients, visitors and employees,” said Jim Bickel, CRH President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is imperative that every person that walks through our doors knows they will receive the highest quality care in every interaction.”
Since formally creating a comprehensive diversity initiative 12 years ago, CRH has implemented programs and policies that encourage the workforce to be aware and ready to serve the needs of our diverse population.
The CRH Diversity Initiative has included: • Cultural awareness training for staff • Language interpretation services • Changes to administrative policies • Plans for continued training
“When we find ourselves in a healthcare setting, we are often at our most vulnerable. At these moments, being treated with dignity and being close to loved ones can be the most important things,” said Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services. “The HEI is an important tool for making sure that LGBT people are treated with the same respect and care in these situations as everyone wants to be treated. It shines a light on what our country’s healthcare institutions are doing to serve their LGBT patients.”
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.
To read about Patient Rights at CRH, visit www.crh.org/patients/patient-rights.aspx.