The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex (LGBT+) civil rights organization, recognized University of Iowa Health Care as a 2019 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer in their Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2019.
The findings were part of the HRC Foundation’s HEI, an annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT+ Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT+ patients, visitors, and employees.
“The recognition shows us that team work and the dedication of many professionals working together can affect change and create progress that can help reduce health inequalities,” says Nicole Nisly, MD.
This year, the HEI evaluated 1,000 health care facilities and commended a select group of 406 hospitals and clinics for their equitable and inclusive practices regarding both LGBT+ patients and families alike.
“We could not have accomplished this without the inspiration from our LGBT+ patients and their families,” explains Nisly. “They inspire and teach us to be better providers and a better institution and we will continue to strive every day to be better than we are today.”
In order to qualify for the title, each facility must provide:
- Non-discrimination and staff training
- Patient services and support
- Employee benefits and policies
- Patient and community engagement.
Katie Imborek, MD, and Nisly have run the UI Health Care LGBT+ Clinic since October 2012 where they provide care for about 1,000 patients.
In addition to providing inclusive primary care for adult and adolescent LGBT+ patients, the clinic’s team also provides specialty medical care, legal advice, and social needs.
Members of the clinic’s staff receive specific LGBT+ cultural humility training to ensure the clinic setting is welcoming and assuring.
“We are very proud of how much we have changed as an institution in the last 10 years,” Nisly says. “I am immensely proud of the large number of people that made this possible, from our schedulers, front desk; lab staff; nurses; physicians and medical professionals; pharmacists; and administration, all working together to help create a welcoming, safe, and skilled health care system for our LGBT+ community and their families.”
For more information about the HEI, or to download a free copy of the report, visit the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.