NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU Lutheran Medical Center, both part of the NYU Langone health system, have been recognized as leaders in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation in its 2017 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) Report. The HEI Report is an annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBTQ Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBTQ patients, visitors, and employees.
“NYU Langone Medical Center is proud to be a leader in instituting inclusive policies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning patients,” says Aron C. Janssen, MD, director of the Gender and Sexuality Service at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center, and co-chair of the medical center’s LGBTQ Advisory Council, which was created in 2012 to further NYU Langone’s commitment to delivering quality care to each patient and to reduce disparities that exist. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the HRC for the fifth year in a row, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”
“NYU Lutheran has long been recognized for the culturally competent care we offer and our commitment to providing equitable access to the highest quality care in a diverse healthcare environment,” says Isaac Dapkins, MD, chief medical officer, NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers and a member of the LGBTQ Council at NYU Lutheran. “We’re proud to be recognized for the strides we’ve made in this area.”
According to a recent National Transgender Discrimination Survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 24 percent of respondents in the study seeking healthcare were denied equal treatment in doctors’ offices and hospitals; 19 percent report being refused medical care; and 50 percent report having to teach their medical providers about transgender care. Transgender people often delay seeking healthcare due to a history of poor treatment overall, and as a result, many transgender patients have worse health outcomes.
NYU Langone’s LGBTQ Advisory Council is an interdisciplinary workgroup devoted to advancing institutional cultural competency for LGBTQ patients, families, and staff members. Members consist of both leaders and staff from a variety of departments, including hospital administration, information technology, clinicians, communications, and NYU School of Medicine. With the help of the council, significant changes are being made. Of note, this past year the council has helped introduce several new initiatives, including:
- an initiative to expand the continuum of care for LGBTQ patients to include both NYU Langone and NYU Lutheran, ensuring each hospital has its own LGBTQ Advisory Council and newly forming Patient and Family Advisory Council at each location
- increased education regarding cultural competency across departmental teams to ensure every patient touched along the continuum of care feels the connection and empathy of NYU Langone staff
- improved the broad footprint of the NYU Langone health system to allow for every component necessary in the delivery of care for LGBTQ patients, encompassing staff from the primary care setting, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and professional areas
NYU Langone and NYU Lutheran were part of a select group of healthcare facilities nationwide to be named leaders in LGBTQ healthcare equality by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria, including patient and employee nondiscrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBTQ health education for key staff members.