WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center have announced that they have received the title of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
This rating was awarded in the 15th anniversary edition of the HRC’s Health Equality Index. 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2022 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 496 received the “LGBTQ + Health Care Equality Leader” rating, achieving the most desirable score of 100.
An additional 251 participants were rated “LGBTQ + Healthcare Equality Top Performer” with an overall score of 80-95. The fact that 82% of participating facilities received either Leader or Top Performing designations demonstrates that healthcare facilities that participate in tertiary education go beyond basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care.
“We are honored to once again be recognized for our highest achievement as a leader for LGBT+ healthcare equality,” CEO Mark Pfister said in a press release. “Maintaining comprehensive care for the LBTGQ+ community in Lake County is and always will be an essential part of our mission. All of our healthcare facilities strive to provide a comfortable place where anyone can seek healthcare without fear of discrimination.”
“Everyone deserves access to high-quality health care, to be respected and heard by a physician, and to feel safe in the facility where they receive care. LGBTI people often experience discrimination in all settings, including health and aging director Tarri Hahnemann. Healthcare, which results in community members shunning care and expecting our voices to be disrespected in an incredibly vulnerable environment. In the Campaign for Human Rights.” The Healthcare Equality Index seeks, at its core, to ensure that LGBT people are protected Gender and intersex identity by health care providers and a sense of safety in seeking services. HEI’s active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust comprehensive LGBTQ+ policies that we hope, because of their work, will become standard practice. “
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation developed the Healthcare Equity Index to meet a deep and pressing need for American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Lesbian Americans—the need for health care that is equitable, informed, sensitive, welcoming, and free from discrimination. No person with health concerns should have to worry about receiving unfair or substandard care because of their LGBTQ+ status, according to the statement.
The Institute of Higher Education assesses and scores healthcare facilities based on detailed criteria under four central pillars: Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTI Care + Patient Centered Care; LGBTQ+ patient services and support; employee benefits and policies; patient and community involvement.
The extraordinary progress reflected in HEI 2022 includes:
• 93% of participants met the HEI’s training requirements, and completed more than 200,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.
• 82% of the participating establishments got either the leader or the best performer.
• 99% of participants in the tertiary education program documented that they include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patients’ non-discrimination policy.
• 81% of tertiary education program participants provide comprehensive transgender healthcare benefits to their employees, up from 75% in 2019, the first year required to attain Leader status in 2020.