West Palm Beach VA earns 2020 ‘LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader’ designation


WEST PALM BEACH — The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has been designated as a 2020 Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was announced in the HRC’s Aug. 30 press release with the medical center receiving top marks in all ranking criteria.

“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 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,” said Alphonso David, HRC Foundation president. “We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

“It is an honor to be designated as a 2020 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader while working in service to America’s heroes,” said Cory Price, West Palm Beach VA Medical Center interim director. “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest in our nation has disrupted our way of life in many ways, but our team has persevered. Excellent care has no boundaries, and I’m proud of our dedicated team of professionals who have maintained consistent delivery of health care services to all veterans.”

In the 2020 report, an impressive 495 facilities earned HRC Foundation’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center received the top score of 100 after receiving the highest scores possible across multiple criteria — Non-Discrimination & Staff Training; Patient Services & Support; Employee Benefits & Policies; Patient & Community Engagement; and Responsible Citizenship.

Another 193 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 90% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2020 HEI includes:
• 92% of participants met the HEI’s training requirements, completing more than 150,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
• 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
• 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
• 53% of HEI participants indicated that their facility has a policy or policies that specifically outline procedures and practices aimed at eliminating bias and insensitivity, and ensuring appropriate, welcoming interactions with transgender patients.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational 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. For more information about the HRC visit www.hrc.org.

The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBT Veterans by making sensitive and high-quality health care accessible. For information on the medical center’s LGBT Program visit www.westpalmbeach.va.gov/services/lgbt/index.asp.