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UVA Health being honored for supporting LGBTQ+ patients, team members

UVA Health
UVA Health
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:07 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -Three UVA Health hospitals are being recognized with the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader award from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for their equitable treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients, visitors, and team members.

“Sometimes, we’re meeting individuals at their most vulnerable moments. Maybe they don’t feel their strongest, they’re coming into an environment that can be intimidating, and so for us to really authentically be welcoming of everyone from every domain of life and background that they come from, doesn’t matter if you’re older, doesn’t matter based on your race or ethnicity,” UVA Health Chief Diversity & Community Engagement Officer Doctor Tracy M. Downs said. “We want to make you feel welcome and do our very best to provide great care and also to be respectful of each individual.”

The University of Virginia Medical Center, UVA Prince William Medical Center, and UVA Haymarket Medical Center have received a score of 100, the best possible rating, in the foundation’s 2022 Healthcare Equality Index.

“This is an important recognition for us to be seen as an a national leader for LGBTQ+ care,” Downs said.

Downs says staff members at UVA Health are trained on how to interact with different patients.

“When new employees or teammates come on board - and it doesn’t really matter if you’re doing a summer internship or you run the place, so to speak - we go through training to help us know how to interact across differences. So they’re very intentional, and they help all of us,” Downs said. “At the end of the day, we want to be a welcoming and caring environment that delivers great healthcare to our community.”

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