Swedish earns top score in nation's foremost LGBTQ+ health care survey

March 29, 2022 Swedish Communications


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In this article:

  • Swedish has earned an important designation as a leader in LGBTQ+ care.

  • Areas of evaluation included employee benefits and policies, training in LGBTQ+ care, and patient services and support.

  • Swedish has plans to expand initiatives in this area, including an advisory council. 

Swedish has received an evaluation of 100 and the designation of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 15th-anniversary edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of health care facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey and 496 of those earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.  

The Swedish LGBTQIA+ Caregiver Resource Group (CRG), the medical center’s voluntary employee resource group that supports LGBTQ+ caregivers, initiated this effort and has worked diligently with Swedish leadership teams to earn the designation.  

Antonio Foles, Swedish LGBTQIA+ CRG co-chair said, “It is incredibly remarkable and affirming to be working for an organization that is proactively taking the steps to make it a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ caregivers, patients and allies. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed to this recognition, and I look forward to the continued success of this work.” 

The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars: 

  • Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care  

  • LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support   

  • Employee Benefits and Policies 

  • Patient and Community Engagement  

Swedish’s designation was driven in part by its ongoing work to create a deliberate and inclusive medical environment for Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community to implement action items. In the last two years Swedish has: 

  • Incorporated specific language in the Swedish patient nondiscrimination policies that address individuals’ sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. 

  • Trained five executive leaders from each of the five Swedish campuses in LGBTQI+ inclusion awareness. 

  • Launched the Swedish Transgender Health website and healthcare navigation program.  

  • Created Swedish/LGBTQI+ branded assets. 

  • Formed the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OHEDI) creating a comprehensive DEI strategy that includes an LGBTQI+ program support. 

In the coming months, Swedish will move forward on other important DEI initiatives such as: 

  • Implementing all-gender restrooms in public areas of each Swedish campus. 

  • Supporting leadership and caregivers in completing 25-50 hours of ongoing LGBTQIA+-related trainings across Swedish. 

  • Creating a publicly available comprehensive list of LGBTQIA+-informed healthcare providers.  

  • Forming an LGBTQIA+ Patient and Family Advisory Council to ensure we are learning from and with our community.

In the 2022 report, Swedish is among an impressive 496 facilities that earned HRC’s “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100.

According to Mardia Shands, Swedish’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion chief, “The 2022 HEI survey is only the start to our journey as a LGBTQI+ Healthcare Quality Leader. Through the collaboration of the Swedish LGBTQIA+ CRG, LGBTQI+ Program and Swedish leadership, the voices and concerns of all are being amplified and addressed through these best practices.” 

Find a doctor

If you have questions about LGBTQIA+-informed care, contact the LGBTQI+ Program at Swedish. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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