Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Earns “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” from HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

Nationwide, only 300 healthcare providers earned the 
“Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation 

Santa Clara County, CA – With a record 590 healthcare facilities participating in the 2017 Healthcare Equity Index (HEI) survey, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center earned a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. This designation comes 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.

“We are proud to receive this designation. Our staff have worked diligently to ensure that we provide patient-centered care to the LGBTQ community,” said Paul Lorenz, CEO of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “The leadership designation shows that we have the services, support, employee benefits and policies needed, as well as being engaged with LGBTQ patients and community. I thank our staff and partners who have been involved in this effort.”

The 10th edition of the HEI​ implements new criteria that raise the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time ever, 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. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

“Too often, members of the LGBTQ community experience discrimination in healthcare settings.  Whether it’s due to outright bigotry, a staff’s lack of knowledge on the issues, or general insensitivity, LGBTQ patients in many parts of the country face difficulty and discomfort when seeking the care they need,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager.  “This is why I’m proud that Santa Clara Valley Medical Center was once again named a Healthcare Equity Leader by HRC for its excellence in LGBTQ healthcare.”

In the 2017 report, an impressive 302 facilities -- 51 percent of those actively participating in the survey -- met the more challenging criteria to earn this designation. Another 145 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 76 percent of actively-participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, it is clear that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics in adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. With some of our biggest battles still ahead, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 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.”

Of the hospitals who did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 61 percent have policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 52 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 95 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.

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.