“You Are In a Safe Space” Goes Beyond Pandemic Care: Both Tenet Health Central Coast Hospitals Achieve “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader”
Tenet Health Central Coast is proud to announce that both Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA., and Twin Cities Community Hospital, in Templeton, CA., have earned the title of “LGBTQ+ Health Care Equality Leader” after a comprehensive assessment process by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). Both hospitals received perfect 100 scores from the HRC in the 2020 assessment.
“When we tell patients that they are in a safe space at Tenet Health Central Coast hospitals, we mean in it in every sense, including safe from bigotry and ignorance. The HEI Leader designation for both our hospitals confirms we provide equitable care, in an environment that is welcoming and affirming,” said Mark Lisa, the CEO of Tenet Health Central Coast. “We have all seen too much hate, separatism and division in our communities, which is why we enthusiastically sought to achieve the HEI Leader status. It is important for people to know that we are here to take care of them as a person, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability or veteran status.”
HEI assesses participants on four criteria: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement. This is the third consecutive distinction for Twin Cities and the second consecutive for Sierra Vista.
Tenet Health Central Coast hospitals are the only hospitals between San Jose and Los Banos (and Fresno) to the north, Las Vegas, NV, to the east, and Woodland Hills to the South (https://www.hrc.org/resources/hei-map) to gain perfect 100 scores in the HRC surveys for staff trained in:
- Patient Non-Discrimination;
- Equal Visitation;
- Employment Non-Discrimination;
- Expert training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
Further, Tenet Health Central Coast hospitals are the only ones in the same region to have earned perfect 100 scores from the HRC for best practices in:
- LGBTQ Patient Services and Support;
- Transgender Patient Services and Support;
- Patient Self-Identification;
- Medical Decision-Making.
This information is particularly important when considering that:
- LGBTQ people experience well-documented discrimination in health care settings and that discrimination discourages them from seeking care and when they do, they have trouble finding alternative services if they are turned away. (https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbtq-rights/news/2018/01/18/445130/discrimination-prevents-lgbtq-people-accessing-health-care/)
- About 83,000 people who identify as LGBT live in the Central Coast counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, San Benito, Monterey and Ventura. (https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-COVID-CA-Health-May-2020.pdf)
The designations were awarded in the 13th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), being released this week. A record 765 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey, with the HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 1,000 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 495 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.
“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 (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. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”