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UCSF Medical Center Earns Perfect Score for Health Care Equality

For Seventh Straight Year, Hospital Receives Highest Rating on National LGBT Survey

By Scott Maier

UCSF Medical Center has become the only U.S. institution to receive a perfect score on the national LGBT Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for seven consecutive years.

The HEI annually invites health care facilities nationwide to complete a survey describing how they provide equitable, inclusive care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families.

Based on this information, UCSF Medical Center was one of a select group of 426 health care facilities nationwide to be named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality.” Facilities awarded this title 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.

Unique among U.S. health care facilities, UCSF Medical Center has met – in fact, exceeded – all of these criteria since the HEI was created in 2007 by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. The medical center also received a perfect score in the first “beta test” of the HEI eight years ago.

“Receiving a perfect score for seven straight years speaks volumes to the importance that UCSF places on quality health care for LGBT patients, their families and our employees,” said Mark R. Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “We want each and every patient to feel safe and know that their health concerns are our priority.”

UCSF’s LGBT-inclusive policies, practices and training long predate the HEI. In 2004, UCSF Medical Center implemented a groundbreaking Inclusive Language Policy that is featured in the prestigious Health Care Innovations Exchange of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. UCSF Medical Center also has long provided equal visitation rights for patients’ same-sex partners.

“Once again, it is exciting to see UCSF’s commitment to diversity and LGBT health issues acknowledged for the seventh year in a row,” said Larry Lariosa, MA, director of the UCSF LGBT Resource Center. “That being said, there is always more work to be done. With the opening next year of UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, I am confident our medical center will continue to raise the bar in promoting equity and inclusion for our diverse patient population.”

UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. hospitals. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of UC San Francisco. The medical center's nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health and cancer.

Further, the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will be uniquely designed to meet the needs of children, women and cancer patients – setting a world-class standard for patient- and family-centered health care, safety, sustainability and translational medicine. Opening Feb. 1, 2015, it includes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital and UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital.

“Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality change the lives of LGBT patients and their families for the better each and every day,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president. “LGBT people should be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates UCSF Medical Center for its tireless work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients.”

UCSF is the nation's leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.