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Temple University Hospital Earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Healthcare Equality Index

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Temple University Hospital (TUH) has earned the designation of “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today. 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.

“We are extremely proud of this recognition, which is due to the diligent efforts of the Temple Health LGBTQ Alliance Task Force in creating an LGBTQ-inclusive environment at Temple,” said Verdi J. DiSesa, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Temple University Hospital, Chief Operating Officer of Temple University Health System and Senior Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM). “Temple University Hospital serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the nation, and we are committed to creating an inclusive and compassionate care environment for our LGBTQ patients, visitors, staff and in particular transgender and gender non-conforming people.”

“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.”

The Temple Health LGBTQ Alliance Task Force is led by Ben Moore, Operations Manager for Risk Management and Infection Prevention and Control at TUH; Heather Clauss, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at LKSOM and Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at TUH; and Robert Bettiker, MD, Professor of Medicine at LKSOM. The Task Force today has more than 170 interdisciplinary members from throughout the Temple University Health System.  The Task Force also has nine subcommittees that are all focused on improving policies, education, and services to help foster a welcoming environment throughout the Health System for LGBTQ patients, students, staff, faculty and visitors.   

In just over a year, Temple’s Task Force has made significant progress to create a more LGBTQ inclusive environment in areas such as community outreach, education, employee benefits and gender-neutral bathroom signage.  Longer term goals include the creation of a comprehensive LGBTQ health center and inclusion of LGBTQ issues in the curriculum at LKSOM. 

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.

In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities, including 19 in Pennsylvania, 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.

Of the hospitals who 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.

Support the Task Force’s OwlCrowd campaign for  LGBTQ health care and education at Temple.