Five Saint Luke’s Health System Hospitals highlighted in Healthcare Equality Index 2014

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Kansas City hospitals named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by National Survey

Saint Luke's is an organization that values and respects every patient who walks through our doors, and we strive to provide safe, patient-centered, sensitive, and compassionate care.

Five hospitals in the Saint Luke’s Health System have been recognized as “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. The hospitals recognized are Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City on the Plaza, Saint Luke’s North Hospital in Kansas City, Saint Luke’s South Hospital in Overland Park, Saint Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit, and Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth/Lansing.

The findings were part of HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2014, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT patients and individuals.

These five Saint Luke’s Health System hospitals earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate their commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality health care and respect they deserve.

“Saint Luke’s is an organization that values and respects each and every patient who walks through our doors, and we strive to provide them with safe, patient-centered, sensitive, and compassionate care,” Michael Weaver, M.D., FACEP, CDM, Saint Luke’s Health System’s vice president of clinical diversity, said. “We recognize that discrimination against the health care needs of any patient ultimately hurts us all. We’re proud that this designation helps affirm our commitment to providing exceptional care to the LGBT community, and to all Kansas City communities we serve.”

The Saint Luke’s hospitals were among a select group of 426 healthcare facilities nationwide to be named Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality in 2014. Facilities awarded this distinction met 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.

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

In 2015, Saint Luke’s Health System’s regional hospitals will apply for the designation for the first time. These regional hospitals include Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, Missouri, Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Missouri, and Anderson County Hospital in Garnett, Kansas.

Additionally, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City is included in a map of Missouri’s Welcoming Hospitals. The map is produced by PROMO, a statewide organization in Missouri that advocates for LGBT equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing, and community education. The map, which launched on the PROMO website (promoonline.org) on Oct. 9, is designed to help LGBT Missourians and health advocates locate hospitals in their region that are LGBT-welcoming.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, located on the Country Club Plaza, is the highest ranked hospital in the Kansas City metro area on the PROMO map. Access the complete PROMO map: http://actioncenter.promoonline.org/lgbt-inclusive-hospitals/#about

For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2014, or to download a free copy of the report, visit http://www.hrc.org/hei.

About Saint Luke’s Health System
Saint Luke’s Health System consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

About The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Michelle Manuel