FRAMINGHAM – The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center announced today, August 19, its LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC).
The designation was awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today.
A record 680 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at 1000 additional non-participating hospitals.
Of those included in the HEI, 406 earned a “LGBTQ health care Equality Leader” designation.
“The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center has always held at its core the desire to provide the most inclusive work place and patient experience possible. Equity, equality, diversity are key parts of the work we do each and every day to help people live healthier lives,” said Kennedy CHC President and CEO, Stephen Kerrigan. “We are honored to have this designation from the Human Rights Campaign but more importantly we are grateful to have the chance to provide inclusive care and work opportunities to our LGBTQ friends and neighbors.”
“As the Trump-Pence administration continues to attack the most fundamental rights of LGBTQ people, including rolling back non-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act and promoting a license to discriminate in health care, it is more important than ever that health care institutions stand with the LGBTQ community,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David.
“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all,” said David.
The 12th edition of the HEI assesses participants on four criteria: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement.
In the 2019 report, an impressive 406 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100.
Another 148 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 81% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
The remarkable progress reflected in the 2019 HEI includes:
● Over half of HEI participants now have written gender transition guidelines;
● 75% of hospitals surveyed offer trans-inclusive benefits — an impressive eight percentage point increase over last year, and numbers that bring them on par with their corporate counterparts, as measured by HRC’s 2019 CEI;
● A 35% increase in training hours recorded — clocking in at more than 94,000 hours of LGBTQ care training provided;
● A 60% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient’s sexual orientation, and a 40% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient’s gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is education arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. The Foundation envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
The mission of Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy CHC) is to “help people live healthier lives.”
Founded in a Worcester housing project in 1972, today Kennedy CHC has three medical facilities, three dental sites, two optometry practices and six school-based clinics serving residents of Worcester, Framingham, Clinton, Milford, and the surrounding communities of MetroWest and Central Massachusetts. Currently over 26,000 patients of all ages receive care and service through Kennedy CHC’s family practice model of care, a comprehensive approach to the delivery of quality primary and urgent care, medical specialties, nutrition counseling, dental care, optometry, pharmacy, behavioral health, social services, health education and youth development programs.