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October 2007 (To print, click the print icon on your browser
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Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and Human Rights Campaign Foundation Release Healthcare Equality Index
Report, Which Addresses Broad Range of Healthcare Issues Faced by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community, is First of its Kind

SAN FRANCISCO--October 2, 2007--The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Family Project the this week released the first Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey addressing five areas of greatest concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients: patient non-discrimination, visitation, medical decision-making, cultural competency training for staff, and employment policies. 

“By participating in this project, hospitals across the country are helping to provide a first-of-its-kind glimpse at the current state of the hospital industry and its relationship with GLBT people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

“GLBT patients urgently need the ability to connect with healthcare professionals they can trust, and GLBT healthcare professionals need protection from discrimination,” said GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg. “The Healthcare Equality Index is designed to promote the inclusion of GLBT populations in ongoing healthcare quality improvement efforts and to establish the norm that discrimination against GLBT patients and healthcare professionals is unacceptable.”

While the focus of the first HEI survey was on hospitals, future surveys will address long-term care, assisted living facilities, hospices, community health clinics and other branches of the healthcare industry. The information gathered will be used to build an online resource that consumers can use when they search for facilities to serve their families’ healthcare needs. The data will also enhance GLMA’s online Provider Directory, to be re-launched later this year.

“Many healthcare providers have been working toward GLBT-inclusive policies for years,” said HRC’s Solmonese. “This report will highlight the efforts of these trailblazers and call upon everyone involved to take action in support of equality.”

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