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.”

“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.”

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.