Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital has been awarded the
“LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from
the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), which strives to end discrimination
against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness
and equality for all.
Foothills Hospital is the only hospital in Boulder County to receive this
designation, which was awarded to 193 facilities nationally. The designation
is based on HRC’s
Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities'
policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ
patients, visitors and employees. The 2020 HEI evaluated more than 1,700
health care facilities nationwide.
“Boulder Community Health has always been committed to reducing health
disparities and providing care to those who need it, regardless of sexual
orientation, race, ethnicity, religion and age,” said Dr. Robert
Vissers, BCH President/CEO.
“This is especially important now, when more than 225,000 Americans
have died from COVID-19. Many in the LGBTQ community are especially vulnerable
to COVID-19, as they are more likely to work in highly affected industries,
less likely to have health coverage, and more likely to have some of the
underlying health conditions that could increase their vulnerability if
exposed. We want to assure members of our LGBTQ community that BCH will
continue to provide medical treatment during the COVID-19 health crisis
— or whenever care is needed.”
The HEI benchmarking tool looks for a wide range of policies and practices
that reflect a commitment to inclusiveness:
- Staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care
- Including both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”
in patient and employment non-discrimination policies
- Collecting patient gender identity data in Electronic Health Records
- Having an internal committee focused on LGBTQ patient care issues
- Having an officially recognized LGBTQ employee resource group
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
to the horrific incidents of racial violence targeting the Black community,
the events of the past year have brought about so much pain and uncertainty.
Yet, even during this moment of profound unrest, we are seeing more of
our humanity and resilience come to life,” said HRC President Alphonso David.
“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s
Healthcare Equality Index are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19
pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the
HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing
inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients.”