By: Dawn Brand Fuller—
Muncie Hospital is one of only 4 hospitals statewide and 418 healthcare providers nationwide to earn the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation
Muncie, IN—Last week, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital announced that it has achieved “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) for the seventh consecutive year. IU Health Ball was the first hospital in Indiana to earn the LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader designation in 2012.
The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 418 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.
“This recognition continues to be particularly important to us as a health care organization,” states Vice President of Human Resources for Indiana University Health’s East Central Region Ann McGuire. “Equality is a key component of our culture. In order to deliver the best care possible, we must ensure all people feel safe to seek medical treatment in our facilities and are confident that they are receiving the highest quality of care for their individual needs.”
The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.”
“With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”
In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
“It is also heartening to see that the number of hospitals with the Healthcare Equality Leader designation in Indiana has doubled this year,” McGuire said. “Four is still a small number, but we are encouraged to see more hospitals working toward earning this distinction in the years to come.”
Of the hospitals that did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 63 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 53 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the education arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
About Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital serves as a tertiary referral center and teaching hospital for East Central Indiana and part of Indiana University Health. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and maintains 1.2 million square feet of facilities. More than 17,700 patients are admitted every year and more than 300,000 outpatient procedures are completed annually. Dr. Jeff Bird is President. Learn more at iuhealth.org/ball-memorial.