3 Chicago area hospitals lauded for LGBT care

Thu. July 14, 2011 2:58 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

Chicago, IL - The Human Rights Campaign's Healthcare Equality Index 2011, released last week, recognized three area hospitals in a new survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender related-policies.

The nationwide survey gave Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center and NorthShore Evanston Hospital high marks for for their commitment to providing a safe place for LGBT patients and their families.

The three facilities were among 87 respondents (representing 375 facilities) nationwide to voluntarily submit information for the Healthcare Equality Index compiled by HRC, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization.

"The first step in creating a healthcare environment free of bias and discrimination is taking an internal look at the policies and practices that directly affect LGBT patients," HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a press release. "We thank these healthcare facilities for participating in the Healthcare Equality Index."

The 2011 HEI found that nearly 90 percent of participating healthcare facilities include sexual orientation in their Patient's Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy, but only 60 percent include gender identity in these policies.

According to HRC, these findings demonstrate progress is being made in healthcare equality.

Last year's Healthcare Equality Index found that the vast majority of American health-care facilities did not have LGBT-inclusive patient non-discrimination policies.

In January, regulations designed to protect the visitation rights of all Americans, specifically the LGBT community, went into effect. These regulations, outlined by President Obama in 2010, offer protections at the federal level for LGBT patients and families.

HRC's Healthcare Equality Index was established 5 years ago.

Read the full 2011 Healthcare Equality Index here.