(CHICAGO) — For the eighth consecutive year, Rush University Medical Center has been recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey of how health care facilities in the United States treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families, as well as their own LGBT employees. The report on the 2016 survey was released today.
Rush University Medical Center and its partner institution, Rush Oak Park Hospital (Oak Park, Illinois), are among a select group of 496 health care facilities nationwide to be named a leader in the report, which rated 2,061 health care facilities in all. The Medical Center met all of the core criteria of the HEI survey, as it has for each of the eight years that it has participated in the survey. Rush Oak Park Hospital also met all the criteria again in its third consecutive year as an LGBT health leader.
The survey’s criteria include patient and employee non-discrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity; a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents; and LGBT health education for key staff members. The HEI survey is administered annually by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the HRC, the largest LGBT organization in the United States, and is intended to encourage equal care of LGBT patients.
“The heart of Rush’s mission is to provide the very best health care for the individuals and diverse communities we serve. An important part of that mission is maintaining a culture of respect, inclusion and equal treatment for LGBT patients, visitors and employees, and for all the diverse groups that make up our Rush community,” says Dr. Larry Goodman, Rush CEO.
“It is an honor that Rush University Medical Center has been identified among the Leaders in Healthcare Equality for the eighth year in a row, and we’re very pleased that Rush Oak Park has been named a leader for the third time as well. Our continued leader status is a wonderful acknowledgement of Rush’s inclusive culture.”
“Despite all the progress we’ve made, far too many LGBT people still lack inclusive and affirming health care. Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality are helping to change that, and, in the process, making the lives of LGBT patients and their families better each and every day,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
“LGBT people have a right to be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital for their work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients.”
Rush’s commitment to a welcoming environment for LGBT patients, students, employees and visitors includes the 2014 creation of the LGBTQ Health Committee of the Medical center’s Diversity Leadership Council, which provides guidance to the Medical Center about diversity issues and initiates events throughout the year to promote diversity. Due in part to the council’s efforts, at the beginning of the year Rush became the first health system in the state of Illinois to offer comprehensive transgender health benefits to employees and students alike.
“That both Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have now received this designation together as a system for the second year is a reflection of Rush's culture of inclusion,” says Christopher Nolan, manager, community benefit and population health and chairperson of the Rush LGBTQ Health Committee. “Rush has clearly made a point to let all of our community members — employees, students, and patients alike — know that when entering the doors of Rush they can bring their entire self - not just a piece.”
The Healthcare Equality Index 2016 is available online at hrc.org/hei.
Rush University Medical Center is part of Rush, a not-for-profit enterprise that also includes Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health. The mission of Rush is to provide the best health care for the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research, and community partnerships.
Rush University Medical Center encompasses a 664-bed hospital serving adults and children. Rush has more than 9,300 employees and faculty. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university and is comprised of Rush Medical College, the Rush University College of Nursing, the Rush University College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College.