In the six years since Janice Langbehn couldn't visit her dying partner Lisa Pond at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Miami-Dade County public health system has updated its policies and assured LGBT patients and their families that they are welcome.
In recognition of the changes, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has named JMH for the third consecutive year a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality." Here's the news release from Jackson Memorial Hospital:
MIAMI, FL – For the third consecutive year, Jackson Health System is has been named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.” Jackson is one of 464 healthcare organizations in the United States – and one of just four in South Florida – to receive this recognition.
The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2013 report, an annual survey published by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC Foundation, awarded nine Jackson facilities – Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jackson North Medical Center, Jackson South Community Hospital, Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, Holtz Children’s Hospital/JMH Women’s Services, Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital, Jackson Memorial Long Term Care Center, Jackson Memorial Perdue Medical Center and Corrections Health Services – top marks for their policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families. These policies include patient and employment non-discrimination, visitation and cultural competency training for staff.
“At Jackson, we promote a culture of inclusion and welcome everyone – regardless of their sexual orientation – into all of our facilities,” said Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System. “We are proud that Jackson is once again being singled out for providing the highest quality of equitable care to all of our patients. This recognition is a testament to Jackson’s commitment to the LGBT community in Miami-Dade County.”
Only three other medical organizations in South Florida – VA Miami Healthcare System, VA West Palm Beach Medical Center and Care Resource – were included on the list of leaders. A total of 17 facilities in Florida, nine of which belong to Jackson Health System, earned the “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” recognition.
Founded in 1980, HRC is the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the country. Facilities awarded HEI leader recognition meet key criteria for equitable care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.
“LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” said HRC Health & Aging Director Shane Snowdon. “It makes a big difference to know that your local healthcare facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers.”
Jackson is proud to continue its three-year trend as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” after also receiving the distinction in 2011 and 2012.
For more information on the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.