VA Palo Alto Recognized by HRC for Commitment to LGBT Patient Equality - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


VA Palo Alto Recognized by HRC for Commitment to LGBT Patient Equality

July 11, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The VA Palo Alto Health Care System was recognized today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation for their commitment to equality for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients, according to a report released today by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.

The report details the results of the most recent Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The HEI helps hospitals assess themselves against established best practices and ensure that they are complying with legal, regulatory and accreditation requirements for LGBT non-discrimination.

“I truly feel that the VA Palo Alto is providing a unique array of services and resources for LGBT Veterans and employees,” said Heliana Ramirez, VAPAHCS LGBT Program Manager. “The HEI provided us an opportunity to not only recognize the steps we’ve taken thus far, but gave us an opportunity to expand and refine our anti-discrimination policies at a local level.”

VA Palo Alto is among the 121 Veterans Health Administration medical centers of the total 718 facilities included in the HEI 2013. Nearly 80 percent of the participating VHA facilities were awarded Equality Leader status in the HEI 2013, as they sought to welcome LGBT Veterans who have served their country.

The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) asks healthcare organizations whether they meet four foundational criteria for LGBT patient-centered care known as the “Core Four.” VAPAHCS met the Core Four by amending non-discrimination policies to include LGBT persons, training hundreds of providers with the Safe Space curriculum, and creating an LGBT Veteran support group. Employees were included in the initiative with an LGBT Staff and Allies program supported by the VAPAHCS Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

To learn more about VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s LGBT initiatives, visit the LGBT website.