Across UPMC, 26 facilities have been recognized for LGBTQ care policies and practices by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the education arm of the country’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. Of these hospitals, 10 have been designated as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality,” and 16 have been recognized as “Top Performers.”
The designations were reported today in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey that scores facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.
“UPMC is committed to supporting its diverse patient population, including members of the LGBTQ community. Improving health care equity across all of the communities UPMC serves is crucial. We are proud to celebrate our 26 hospitals for their dedication to inclusive policies and practices, a significant progression from the seven hospitals recognized last year,” said James E. Taylor, Ph.D., chief diversity, inclusion, and talent management officer, UPMC.
Facilities awarded the “Leader” title meet criteria in four key areas: LGBTQ patient-centered care; LGBTQ patient services and support; employee benefits and policies; and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.
UPMC Hospitals Designated as HEI Leaders:
“We are honored to be recognized for our ongoing efforts at UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East to improve the experiences of LGBTQ patients. We aim to treat every patient with dignity and respect, and we are committed to the common goal of health care equity for all,” said Mark O’Hern, president, UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East.
“We are proud to be recognized for our ongoing efforts to cultivate a sense of belonging to a population that has historically been overlooked and marginalized. Our diversity and inclusion initiatives— like creating a space for nonbinary patients within our electronic health records and ongoing staff sensitivity training — help us live up to UPMC values and provide quality health care services,” said Philip Guarneschelli, president, UPMC Pinnacle.
“At Western Psych, we recognize each patient has unique needs and we embrace their differences and their strengths, including members of the LGBTQ community,” said Carol VanZile, L.C.S.W., director of regulatory compliance and chair of the LGBTQ Committee at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. “We value diversity and have a long-standing history at Western Psych as advocates for improving care practices and accessibility for the LGBTQ community. We pride ourselves on providing quality care to every patient we encounter and are continually working to improve the patient experience beyond our doors and across the UPMC system.”
Facilities awarded the “Top Performer” title also met criteria in the same key areas as leaders, but received slightly lower scores indicating room for improvement and growth. All UPMC hospitals designated as top performers in 2019 improved to leader status for the 2020 designations, and an additional 15 hospitals were recognized for the first time under any designation by the HRC.
UPMC Hospitals Named Top Performers:
“UPMC Hamot is honored to be an HEI Top Performer hospital. This was our first time applying for this prestigious designation and we take great pride in knowing that we have existing policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of our LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees,” said David Gibbons, president, UPMC Hamot. “It’s important that we are true community advocates and treat each patient, visitor and staff how they would like to be treated. In addition, we’ve implemented employee resource groups that value and support our LGBTQ staff and other diverse staff. Our journey is just beginning, and we’re excited about future initiatives in supporting our diverse patient population.”
“We’re devoted to focused diversity training, ongoing learning and open listening strategies with aim of total inclusion for all,” said Rob Jackson, president, UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson. “Our UPMC hospital teams are committed to live Our Values of Dignity & Respect with every patient, support visitor, member and co-worker interaction. Our incredibly compassionate care teams across UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon are honored by this ‘Top Performer’ acknowledgement, for our first time this year, of the LGBTQ equality strides we continue to make.”
UPMC is committed to improving LGBTQ equity across all clinical and corporate areas. Earlier this year, UPMC Health Plan and Community Care Behavioral Health earned the “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” honor from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The index is the national benchmarking tool related to corporate policies and practices for LGBTQ employees.