St. Louis Children’s has been named a “Top Performer” in health care equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The recognition was outlined in the announcement of HRC’s 13th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
A record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 Survey. St. Louis Children’s was the region’s only children’s hospital to have participated and been scored by this year’s HEI.
“We’re proud to receive this honor, and we’re committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ patients, families and staff,” said Trish Lollo, St. Louis Children’s president. “Our mission is to do what’s right for kids and their families. That means doing what’s right for every individual, regardless of race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or income level.”
The Equality Index serves as a national benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQIA+ patients, visitors and employees. The index assesses participants on four criteria:
- Ensure foundational non-discrimination protection for patients, visitors and staff in patient and staff policies and provide cultural competency training on LGBTQIA+-inclusion
- Demonstrate progress toward inclusion on LGBTQIA+ patient care services and support
- Cultivate an inclusive workplace by providing LGBTQIA+-inclusive employee policies and benefits
- Demonstrate engagement with and public commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community
St. Louis Children’s, along with all facilities within BJC HealthCare, are committed to providing inclusive and equitable care to all patients, visitors and employees, including gender and sexual minorities. Below are examples of how St. Louis Children’s works to provide this level of care and service:
Patients and Visitors
- Established a visitation policy that allows patients and families the visitors of their choice, greatly reducing the potential for bias against LGBTQIA+ family members and couples.
- Offers care through a Transgender Center to children and young adults who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary or genderqueer.
- Offers employees quality training on LGBTQIA+ patient-centered care in an effort to create equitable patient and family experiences.
- Promotes engagement of physician partners on local legislative issues pertinent to LGBTQIA+ patients and families.
- In 2015, BJC HealthCare began offering trans-inclusive benefits to all employees, including gender affirmation treatments and procedures.
- Employees, including nurses and patient access, are trained in and have access to sexual orientation and gender identity data collection and LGBTQIA+ health care best practices.
- SPECTRA, the BJC HealthCare Connections group (open to all LGBTQIA+ employees and allies), has experienced a significant growth and increased involvement and participation in St. Louis Pridefest festivities and other LGBTQIA+ activities and events in the St. Louis region.