Public Release: 

Penn Medicine hospitals 'leaders in LGBT healthcare equality' by Human Rights Campaign

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

(PHILADELPHIA) - The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Chester County Hospital were announced among the 2016 class of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality Index 2016" list. The HRC Foundation is the educational arm of the country's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.

The Healthcare Equality Leaders were selected based on an annual survey identifying healthcare institutions that lead in efforts to offer equal care for LGBT patients by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors and employees.

Penn Medicine hospitals earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families. The four hospitals standardized their patient and employee non-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression and provided LGBT patient care training for over 150 hospital staff in organization leadership, nursing management, patient relations, admitting, and human resources management.

"This annual recognition reaffirms our commitment to advancing LGBT health in patient care, research, and education at Penn Medicine," says Patrick J. Brennan, MD, chief medical officer. "As an institution, it is critical that we foster an inclusive environment for all patients and deliver the best care backed by collaborative research across disciplines addressing the disparities and needs of those we serve every day. We are proud to be a leader in LGBT health."

The Penn Medicine hospitals were among a select group of healthcare facilities nationwide with this distinction. These facilities meet key criteria, including patient and employee non-discrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.

Since the program's inception in 2013, the Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health has provided health education and training initiatives, and facilitated efforts publishing research and delivering presentations on various LGBT health topics. Penn Medicine is the first academic medical center in the Northeast -- one among just a handful of academic medical centers in the U.S. -- to launch a program across multiple professional schools and affiliated hospitals to improve the health of LGBT individuals. Health disparities and inequalities within this community have become increasingly recognized, but are rarely addressed in today's health care settings.

With more than 1.5 million members and supporters, the HRC is the largest civil rights organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

The Healthcare Equality Index offers healthcare facilities resources to help provide equal care to LGBT patients, as well as assistance in complying with new regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training.

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For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2016, or to download a free copy of the report, visit http://www.hrc.org/hei/leaders-in-lgbt-healthcare-equality.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania(founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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