Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation in HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index
Today, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center announced their “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today. A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 418 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.
Edward M. Kennedy’s President/CEO, Antonia McGuire, says of the designation, “Kennedy CHC staff have a long tradition of working toward health equality for all. An LGBTQ health equality designation represents the value we place on all of our patients, staff, and community members. As a leadership team, we actively pursue health equity as a strategy that can both improve the quality of health care for the diverse populations we serve and to eliminate health disparities.”
“With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a 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.”
The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria: 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 earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.”
In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
Of the hospitals who did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 63 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 53 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93 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.
The mission of Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy CHC) is to “help people live healthier lives.” We believe that everyone has a right to accessible, high quality, comprehensive, integrated and compassionate health care. As a community health center, Kennedy CHC has always provided comprehensive care to its patients, who are at disparate risk for chronic disease and poor health outcomes. Our vision is to be a constantly growing, financially sound, Federally Qualified Community Health Center that:
- efficiently delivers high quality, accessible primary care services.
- becomes the health care home and provider choice of all our patients.
- achieves excellence in outcomes with our patients as partners.
- remains at the forefront of innovative health care practices.
Founded in a Worcester housing project in 1972, today Kennedy CHC has three medical facilities, three dental sites, two optometry practices and six school-based clinics serving residents of Worcester, Framingham, Clinton, Milford, and the surrounding communities of MetroWest and Central Massachusetts. Currently over 26,000 patients of all ages receive care and service through Kennedy CHC’s family practice model of care, a comprehensive approach to the delivery of quality primary and urgent care, medical specialties, nutrition counseling, dental care, optometry, pharmacy, behavioral health, social services, health education and youth development programs. Kennedy CHC is certified as a patient-centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a model that supports the flow of information among medical teams, coordinating health care visits, utilizing electronic technologies for tracking and errors prevention, and providing follow-up while, most importantly, engaging patients in their care.