NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, both part of NYU Langone Health, have been named “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader,” each scoring a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Health Equality Index (HEI). The HEI is an annual report that promotes equal care by systematically evaluating and certifying health systems on their policies, programs, and sense of responsibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) patients, visitors, and employees.
“We have been recognized by the HEI with a perfect score in the last six years because of our commitment to advancing the state of knowledge and care for our LGBTQ+ patients, visitors, and employees,” says Aron C. Janssen, MD, director of the Gender and Sexuality Service at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center. “One of the areas we have worked especially hard on in the last several years is building our medical center’s capacity for transgender and gender nonbinary patients, with our expansion of gender-affirming medical, surgical, and psychiatric care.”
“We’re proud to be 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 P. Dapkins, MD, chief medical officer of the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone and a member of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn.
The HEI certification comes during the NYU Langone LGBTQ+ Advisory Council’s celebration of LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week, from March 26-30, which includes outreach to patients and the NYU Langone community about LGBTQ+ healthcare, a keynote talk, and a poster presentation session.
2017-18 LGBTQ+ Accomplishments
The HEI is facilitated and completed through the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, an interdisciplinary workgroup devoted to advancing institutional cultural competency for LGBTQ+ patients, families, and staff members. Members consist of leaders and staff from a variety of departments, including hospital administration, information technology, communications, and NYU School of Medicine. This past year the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council and the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee have helped steer several new initiatives and accomplishments, including the following:
- educated clinical staff and other departments across the NYU Langone care continuum to transgender and gender nonbinary culture, with over 1,000 trained in person and over 8,100 trained online, including ancillary staff
- empowered nurses and patient care technicians with language and service recovery tools
- established the LGBTQ+ patient liaison community manager, who advocates for patients, policies, and education as well as being a cultural and clinical resource for staff
- expanded gender-neutral bathroom signage to Brooklyn
- expanded NYU Langone’s gender-affirming care practice
- instituted a system-wide transgender and gender non-binary bed policy
- launched an LGBTQ+ patient-facing website
- put in place a comprehensive clinical header on Epic, the electronic health record system, that includes gender identity and chosen pronouns
This June, NYU Langone will also join the celebration of pride as a bronze sponsor of the New York City Pride Parade.
“NYU Langone provides a safe and affirming environment, with outstanding medical and surgical care for transgender and gender nonbinary patients,” says Rachel Bluebond-Langner, MD, the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Associate Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, a world-renowned gender-affirming surgeon who joined NYU Langone in January 2017.
“Hospital systems can feel overwhelming to navigate, but there are a lot of people at NYU Langone who are working as advocates, to make this a sensitive and inclusive environment,” adds Nathan Levitt, FNP-BCP, a family nurse practitioner, recognized national leader in transgender care, and member of the transgender and gender nonbinary community.
About the Health Equality Index Ranking
NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn were two of 418 healthcare facilities that earned perfect scores from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group in the United States. Healthcare systems participate in the HEI by completing a survey, which is assessed based on four different criteria of LGBTQ equity and inclusion: patient-centered care, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement. Two years ago, the HEI set higher standards for facilities to earn a perfect score. This year, 626 hospitals agreed to be evaluated.