N E W S R E L E A S E
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018
Saratoga Hospital Earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” Designation
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, May 3, 2018—Saratoga Hospital has been designated a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. Saratoga Hospital is the only hospital to receive this designation in the Capital Region and North Country.
“This designation affirms that we prioritize an inclusive healthcare environment,” said Mary Jo LaPosta, MS, PhD, RN, senior vice president of patient care and organizational excellence and chief nursing officer. “When a person comes through our doors seeking help, it’s not enough to just provide the best quality in healthcare services. We must also assure respect. Dignity. Trust. Our community of patients, visitors and staff deserve no less.”
The designation was reported in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey. An impressive 82 percent of participating facilities scored 80 points or more, including Saratoga Hospital, demonstrating that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
“HEI is looking for a higher standard than what government requires,” said LaPosta. “As HEI moves the bar higher each year, we sit down with those standards, do some serious self-reflection, and use it to help us go from good to great and from great to greater. We are proud that, from a care perspective, we are very inclusive here at Saratoga Hospital.”
HEI participants are given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement.
“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 Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past 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.”
Saratoga Hospital recently sponsored a Saratoga Pride event, Trans Talks II, addressing the needs of the transgender and gender non-conforming community. The event provided community-education-focused discussions on topics such as language and terminology; assumptions and expectations around gender; medical, legal and psycho-social issues experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals; social and medical transition processes available to both youth and older members of the community; and best practices for affirming, responsive service by professionals and organizations.
In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 900 hospitals that did not participate in the HEI survey. Of those hospitals, which 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, was the only policy that came close to matching the rate of the HEI-participating facilities. These numbers demonstrate the need for the HEI survey and designations.
About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation: The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is 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 Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. With a medical staff of more than 450 providers, the hospital offers care in a broad range of medical specialties at more than 20 locations including its Wilton campus and the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta. The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group ensures easy access to services that can have the greatest impact on both individual and community health. In keeping with its emphasis on quality, Saratoga Hospital was the first in the Capital Region to earn Magnet designation for nursing excellence. On Jan. 1, 2017, Saratoga Hospital finalized its affiliation with Albany Medical Center, joining Columbia Memorial Health in creating a regionally integrated, locally governed healthcare system. For more information: www.saratogahospital.org or www.facebook.com/SaratogaHospital.
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