“LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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“LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation

MEDVAMC Earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation

MEDVAMC Earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index, earning “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. The HRC is the education arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

The Houston VAMC was one of an impressive 418 facilities nationwide who earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a maximum score of 100. Scoring is based on LBGTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement.

The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with the HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals.

“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 HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a 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.”

“MEDVAMC’s goal is to be a a welcoming and inclusive healthcare environment for all Veterans who served," said Dr. Deleene Menefee, MEDVAMC LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator. "Attaining the Leadership status means that we are striving towards best practices and reducing health disparities.”

The HEI offers healthcare facilities the opportunity to strengthen care given to LGBTQ patients, and reach out to this long-overlooked group. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Patient Services coordinates facility participation in the Healthcare Equity Index. This office is responsible for championing equitable health for all Veterans including Veterans from LGBT communities.

For more information about the VA LGBT Program, visit https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/. For more information about LGBT services at the Houston VAMC, visit https://www.houston.va.gov/services/LGBT_Program.asp.

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