Indiana hospital staff to receive training on LGBT issues

Thu. August 26, 2010 12:26 AM by News Staff

Transsexual patient was mocked by staff

Muncie, Ind. - Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Ind., will be the sight of new LGBT awareness training after a transsexual patient was referred to as "it."

Erin Vaught went to the ER in July because she was coughing up blood. She left without receiving treatment after she overheard staff calling her "he/she" and "it."

The Star Press reports that the hospital is working hard to make up for the mistakes and insensitivity. On Tuesday, staff stood with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance and
Indiana Equality to talk about an "aggressive" plan to make sure LGBT patients and their families are comfortable.

"Simply put, we failed to live up to our brand
promise of care in regards to Erin and we apologize to her for that," BMH President and CEO Michael Haley said. "The majority of our outstanding team of health-care professionals is committed to providing every patient with excellent and respectful care.

"In the last month, I have heard from many team members who share my disappointment with Erin's experience at BMH," he continued. "Thankfully, her story has created the opportunity for us to provide additional support to our team members making sure that all LGBT community members receive expert, respectful and culturally competent care."

"My goal from the outset was to try to make sure that my experience wasn't repeated," Vaught said. "Ball Memorial's commitment to updating their policies and training their staff demonstrates to me that this is their priority as well."