Here’s additional information from SAVE Dade regarding new gay-oriented policies at Jackson Health System:
SAVE Dade and coalition partners are pleased to announce Jackson Health System's (JHS) implementation of fair visitation policies that advance equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families.
The Committee for Fair Visitation formed as a result of an incident involving Lisa Pond who was admitted to Jackson Memorial, and whose children and partner of 18 years, Janice Langbehn, were denied visitation. The unfair incident resulted in Lambda Legal representing the Langbehn family in Langbehn v. Jackson Memorial.
The Committee was formed to facilitate JHS adopt fair visitation policies and enter into the Human Rights Campaign's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
JHS has made important changes to its visitation policy, including a new and broader definition of family stating:
"The terms 'family' and 'family member' in all policies at the Jackson Health System are understood and interpreted to mean any person(s) who play a significant role in an individual's life. This may include a person(s) not legally related to the individual. Members of 'family' include spouses, domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others. 'Family' includes a minor patient's parents, regardless of the gender of either parent. Solely for the purposes of visitation policy, the concept of parenthood is to be liberally construed without limitation as encompassing legal parents, foster parents, same-sex parent, step-parents, those serving in loco parentis (Latin word meaning 'in place of parents or instead of a parent.' Normally those who have been a custodian of children or who been foster parents are given such privileges), and other persons operating in caretaker roles."
The change in policy signifies that JHS is taking the necessary steps to implement clear and inclusive visitation policies to encompass the needs of the LGBT community. Additionally, JHS entered into the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) and is the only health system in Florida to apply.
While this is a positive step for the LGBT community in South Florida, the work to implement fair visitation policies throughout the rest of South Florida and across the state is far from over. SAVE Dade is hopeful that JHS is the first of many Florida hospitals to implement fair visitation policies, however, help is needed to implement such change. The Committee for Fair Visitation is committed to continuing this change.
If you are interested in helping to change the visitation policies at hospitals throughout South Florida to include the LGBT community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are searching for committee members who would begin the process at local area hospitals and commit to helping each institution to adopt similar policies.
Special thanks to The Fair Visitation Committee:
Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth, CenterLink, Comprehensive Money Management Services, LLC Equality Florida, Florida Together, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Lambda Legal, Miami Workers' Center, Out with Cancer, Pride Center at Equality Park, SAVE Dade, Transgender Equality Rights Initiative
SAVE Dade's mission is to promote, protect and defend equality for people in Miami-Dade County who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.