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LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader

May 28, 2024

Kansas City, Kan. — Once again, The University of Kansas Health System has earned recognition as a LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). This designation was awarded in the 16th edition of the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released Tuesday, May 7.

“This distinction reflects the strides we've made in promoting equity for all individuals, including employees, patients, their families and the broader community,” says Gigi Siers, RN, assistant director of professional engagement at the health system. “And our journey doesn't end here. We remain resolute in our mission to provide compassionate, equitable and inclusive care for all.”

To achieve the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, healthcare facilities must receive the top score of 100 points in the HEI. The HEI evaluates healthcare facilities based on 5 criteria supporting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices:

  1. Nondiscrimination and staff training
  2. Patient services and support
  3. Employee benefits and policies
  4. Patient and community engagement
  5. Responsible citizenship

A record 1,065 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. Of those participants, just 384 achieved the maximum score of 100 points, earning the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” distinction.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), LGBTQ+ adults are twice as likely as non-LGBTQ+ adults to say they were “treated unfairly or with disrespect by a doctor or healthcare provider” in the last 3 years. Such discrimination, along with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, can cause even more LGBTQ+ people to delay or avoid seeking healthcare. For those seeking LGBTQ+ inclusive care, this makes the HEI particularly significant.

“As anti-LGBTQ+ extremists look to strip away healthcare access at every turn, LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones are looking for healthcare providers to offer and champion fully inclusive services. The HEI is helping people find facilities where welcoming policies and practices are the standard,” said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “We know that LGBTQ+ people – especially our trans family – continue to face discrimination in the doctor’s office. No one should have to put their health on the backburner for fear of mistreatment in a healthcare facility or by their doctor.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.

LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader logo

Once again, The University of Kansas Health System has earned recognition as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). This designation reflects our commitment to promoting equity for all, including LGBTQ+ patients, employees, their families and the entire community.

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