Health system earns national LGBTQ recognition

1050
Rhae-Ann Booker. Courtesy Rhae-Ann Booker

A local health care provider earned national recognition for its commitment to equity and inclusion for LGBTQ patients, families and employees.

University of Michigan Health-West (UMHW) said Wednesday, March 30, it received a score of 90 out of 100 possible points in the Human Rights Campaign’s national benchmarking tool, the Healthcare Equality Index, earning a designation as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer.

This makes UMHW the highest-scoring provider in the Grand Rapids area, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“We were pleased to be able to score well, but this isn’t the ceiling — it’s our new baseline,” said Rhae-Ann Booker, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for UMWH. “We intend to be a leading example in DEI in general and LGBTQIA+ equity and inclusion in particular. So, we are taking a hard look at what we are doing well and where there is room for improvement.”

This was the first year UMHW participated in the index, which examines health care facilities every two years in categories such as patient services and support, training, employee benefits, and patient and community engagement.

UMHW has implemented several processes that earned this recognition, including training in LGBTQ patient-centered care, equal benefits for same-sex spouses, expanding the definition of family for equal visitation policies and publicly posting resources for LGBTQ patients.

Dr. Peter Hahn. Courtesy University of Michigan Health-West

Last year, the health system also started to display window decals based on the pride and transgender pride flags, along with the words, “you belong here.”

It’s practices like these that affirm UMHW’s welcoming nature and overall dedication to DEI, said UMHW CEO Dr. Peter Hahn.

“Our mission requires us to relentlessly advance health for West Michigan, and there is no room in that mission to exclude anyone,” Hahn said. “I’m proud of our team’s commitment to inclusion as one of our core values and their enthusiasm to keep building on our progress.”

Facebook Comments