Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Release Healthcare Equality

by Admin

Report, Which Addresses Broad Range of Healthcare Issues Faced by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community, is First of its Kind

WASHINGTON- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Family Project and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association this week released the first Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey addressing five areas of greatest concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients: patient non-discrimination, visitation, medical decision-making, cultural competency training for staff, and employment policies.

"By participating in this project, hospitals across the country are helping to provide a first-of-its-kind glimpse at the current state of the hospital industry and its relationship with GLBT people," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

"GLBT patients urgently need the ability to connect with healthcare professionals they can trust, and GLBT healthcare professionals need protection from discrimination," said GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg. "The Healthcare Equality Index is designed to promote the inclusion of GLBT populations in ongoing healthcare quality improvement efforts and to establish the norm that discrimination against GLBT patients and healthcare professionals is unacceptable."

While the focus of the first HEI survey was on hospitals, future surveys will address long-term care, assisted living facilities, hospices, community health clinics and other branches of the healthcare industry. The information gathered will be used to build an online resource that consumers can use when they search for facilities to serve their families' healthcare needs. The data will also enhance GLMA's online Provider Directory, to be re-launched later this year.

"Many healthcare providers have been working toward GLBT-inclusive policies for years," said HRC's Solmonese. "This report will highlight the efforts of these trailblazers and call upon everyone involved to take action in support of equality."

The full report is available at www.hrc.org/hei. Read The Advocate's coverage at http://www.advocate.com/news-detail-ektid49485.asp.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The mission of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is to ensure equality in healthcare for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and healthcare professionals. More information is available at www.glma.org.

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