• A.O. Fox Hospital Earns “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation in HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

    A.O. Fox Hospital

    April 9, 2018

    A.O. Fox Hospital has been designated an “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the recently released 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 418 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.

    “We are proud of Fox for taking the lead in the Bassett Healthcare Network around the provision of affirming health care for LGBTQ patients,” says Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould, Medical Director of Susquehanna Family Practice/The Gender Wellness Center. “This is our fourth year to achieve HEI designation. To maintain our status, each year we increase the amount of education offered to employees and improve the quality of services for LGBTQ patients. It’s one more way our hospital administration and staff demonstrate their commitment to reducing health care disparities for at risk populations in our region. It’s a powerful stance for a small, community hospital and it makes me proud to work here.”

    “With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” says HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership.”

    The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are scored based on four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section, like A.O. Fox, earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.

    In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

    Of the hospitals that did not participate in the HEI but were scored based on research, only 63 percent have patient non-discrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 53 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93 percent, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.

    “Fox is proud to be a leader in the health care of LGBTQ patients not only across our rural communities, but nationally,” says Jeff Joyner, President of A.O. Fox Hospital. “Our commitment to excellence in LGBTQ care, educating our clinicians, and community engagement sets us apart as an advocate and frontrunner in the world of medicine. It is an honor to share this beautiful piece of our hospital’s story.”