Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

PAMF, SMSC, CPMC Selected as Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality

HEI LogoThe Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC) and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) have been recognized as “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2014 (HEI), an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational branch of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization.

PAMF and SMSC were honored for their commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families who can face significant challenges in receiving good health care. According to the HEI 2014 survey, 56 percent of LGB patients and 70 percent of transgender or gender non-conforming patients surveyed have experienced some type of discrimination in the health care setting.

This year more than 1,500 health care organizations nationwide were rated in the survey. PAMF, SMSC and CPMC met all of HEI’s key criteria for LGBT patient-centered care to be honored as Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality. The criteria include providing non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visiting rights for same-sex partners and parents and LGBT health education for staff members.

“This recognition reflects our mission to provide top-quality care for our LGBT patients and their families,” says Stephen Gray, chief administration officer of SMSC. “We understand that it makes a big difference for our LGBT patients to know that they are coming to a welcoming environment and will receive the same excellent health care as all of our patients.”

Gray adds that HEI’s criteria are an important first step for all health care organizations.

“At PAMF, SMSC, CPMC and throughout our Sutter Health network we are taking steps to reach beyond the criteria by providing ongoing expert training and education for all of our care teams,” says Gray. “In addition, we are actively working with Epic, our electronic medical record system vendor, to bring gender-specific language in the system up to the current LGBT best practice standards, as we know this is extremely important to our transgender community.”

For more information about the HEI 2014 or to download a free copy of the report, visit the Human Rights Campaign website.