Valley Recognized as LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

March 28, 2022

The Valley Hospital has once again been awarded the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation for earning a top score for their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.

This biennial designation was awarded in the 15th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2022 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 496 earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. 

“Valley is proud to be designated as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader once again,” said Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System. “It is our priority to deliver high-quality, inclusive healthcare and employment opportunities to all members of our community.”

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

In the 2022 report, an impressive 496 facilities earned HRC’s LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 251 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation with scores between 80 and 95 points and at least partial credit in each section. With 82% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2022 HEI includes: 
•    93% of participants met the HEI's training requirements, completing more than 200,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.
•    82% of participating facilities earned either the Leader or Top Performer.
•    99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
•    99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy. 
•    81% of HEI participants offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees, up from 75% in 2019. This was the first year this was required to obtain Leader status.

In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies for LGBTQ+ inclusion at over 1,300 non-participating hospitals. Unfortunately, these research hospitals were much less likely to have LGBTQ+ non-discrimination policies in place, which is a stark contrast to the near-perfect adoption by active participants. Among the researched hospitals in which enumerated patient non-discrimination policies were able to be obtained, only 70% have policies that include both sexual orientation and gender identity, compared to 99% of HEI participants.