UVA Earns National Recognition for Support of LGBTQ Patients, Team Members

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The University of Virginia Medical Center The University of Virginia Medical Center
David Repaske David Repaske
Bush Bell Bush Bell

The University of Virginia Health System is earning national accolades for its equitable treatment of people from a variety of backgrounds.

UVA Medical Center is being recognized by the Human Rights Commission for its treatment of LGBTQ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer - patients and team members.

“This is a unique patient population that has unique needs,” said UVA Health Patient Experience Officer Bush Bell.

The Medical Center scored 95 out of 100 on the 2018 Healthcare Equality Index.

“It’s an endorsement of the outstanding care that we’re providing to all of our patients, but especially to the LGBTQ community patients,” said Bell.

UVA Professor of Pediatrics/Pediatric Endocrinologist David Repaske says he sees a fair number of transgender patients.

“This gives us incredible recognition for being respectful for treating all patients with dignity including transgender and LGBTQ patients,” he said.

Bell says staffing the hospital with people of diverse backgrounds has been key: “We want the folks that are providing care to our patients to reflect our communities, so it is important that were providing care to LGBTQ patients that we have providers who are also within that community.”

UVA has worked hard to raise its equality score 35 points since last year, but acknowledges there's more work to do.

“Our most senior leaders and a number of other of our healthcare providers have gone through training to understand the needs of the LGBTQ community,” Bell said.

The University of Virginia Health System also offers the Teen and Young Adult Health Center, as well as a monthly clinic for adult transgender patients.

04/25/2018 Release from the University of Virginia Health System:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., April 25, 2018 – The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has named University of Virginia Medical Center as a Top Performer for its equitable treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) patients and team members.

“We work every day to be a welcoming place for all patients to receive care and to be a supportive, respectful work environment for all of our team members,” said Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, chief executive officer of UVA Medical Center. “As the diversity of our patients increases, it is more important than ever for us to support a diverse workforce to serve all of our patients. Creating a diverse workforce helps bring about excellence in everything that we do as a health system.”

Through its Healthcare Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights organization for LGBTQ people, rates hospitals on how well their policies and practices support inclusion of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. Hospitals are rated in multiple areas, including:

  • non-discrimination and staff training
  • patient services and support
  • employee benefits and policies
  • patient and community engagement

“We have made great strides as an institution, and we will continue working to ensure UVA Medical Center is an inclusive place for all of our patients, visitors and team members,” said Bush Bell, patience experience officer at UVA Medical Center.

UVA offers a Transgender Health Clinic as part of its Teen and Young Adult Health Center in Charlottesville. A monthly UVA clinic for adult transgender patients is now open at UVA Family Medicine and Specialty Care in Crozet, with plans to move the clinic to Charlottesville later this year.

For more information about the 2018 Healthcare Equity Index, visit www.hrc.org/hei.

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