Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been included in the 2019 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) survey and has been designated a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, ranking among the nation's leading hospitals for welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer patients and employees.
The survey establishes a baseline of LGBTQ best practices at healthcare institutions across the country. The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the 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.
As part of the survey, MGH was evaluated in four categories:
1. Non-Discrimination and Staff Training
2. Patient Services and Support
3. Employee Benefits and Policies – with a particular focus on transgender inclusivity
4. Patient and Community Engagement.
“Each year the Healthcare Equality Index raises its standards to qualify. The changes made this year at Mass General and Partners HealthCare were substantial. They prove our dedication to the transgender community, and a real commitment to our LGBTQ employees as well,” says Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the MGH Transgender Health Program.
Launched in July 2018, the Transgender Health Program has seen “incredible growth in clinical volume and community engagement,” says Goldstein.
Through a multi-disciplinary effort, MGH has established programs to provide equal access to care and services, including the MGH Psychiatry Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Program and clinical programs in the Departments of Surgery, Urology, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. This October, the MGH Transgender Health Program will expand to include care for children and adolescents in a partnership with MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Goldstein acknowledges that an investment in these programs was instrumental to the MGH’s inclusion in the 2019 Healthcare Equality Index.
“Partners and the MGH worked tirelessly on this survey and I think we’re poised to have profound change in how we deliver care to not only members of the LGBTQ community, but those who have been marginalized for their respective identities,” says Josue Espinoza, MHA, Group Practice Administrator in the Endocrine Division and Manager of the MGH Transgender Health Program. He says in the coming years, he hopes MGH can be a leader in addressing the health care needs of the LGBTQ community and other vulnerable populations through its new Equity & Inclusion leadership.
For more information about the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.
In this installment of the “I am MGH” video series, members of the MGH community share their roles in creating a more welcoming and affirming environment for transgender and gender non-binary patients.