Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, and Mount St. Mary’s Hospital have all been named a “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 15th anniversary edition of its Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). This is the first time all of Catholic Health’s hospitals have received this recognition as part of the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.

“It’s important for our system to provide a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all who seek care in our hospitals, health centers, skilled nursing faculties, and in their homes, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said William B. Pryor, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer at Catholic Health. “Our Catholic identity compels us to treat everyone with respect and dignity. This includes offering safe, high quality, and compassionate care to all; providing a safe workplace for people to be who they are; and ensuring our patient and employment policies are non-discriminatory.”

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their health-care providers and feel safe seeking services.”

The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars, including Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care, LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement.

“We continue to focus our efforts on greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, throughout our system,” Pryor added. “We are extremely proud all our hospitals have been named LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performers and what this means to our patients and associates.”

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