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UAB Medicine again designated as a Healthcare Equality Leader

  • March 30, 2022
UAB Medicine is the only health care institution in Alabama to achieve “leader” status in the most recent Healthcare Equality Index.

UAB MedicineLGBTQ Stream has again received the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. UAB Medicine has been recognized by the foundation for its leadership in diversity, equality and inclusion every year since 2016.

“We are proud of our continued recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, reflecting the efforts that UAB Medicine makes every day to treat all patients with respect and compassion,” said Andre Lessears, chief diversity and inclusion officer for the UAB Health System. “Our academic medical center attracts patients from across the world who represent many cultures, religions, lifestyles and economic backgrounds, so diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of the atmosphere we strive to maintain.” 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index is 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.

For the most recent survey period, a record 906 health care facilities participated, with 496 recognized as leaders. In the state of Alabama, UAB Medicine leads the way, and was the only non-governmental health care organization recognized as a leader. The Veterans Affairs hospitals in Montgomery and Tuscaloosa were also recognized as top performers.

Each survey period, participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ+-inclusive policies and practices in four domains, with UAB Medicine garnering the maximum score of 100:

  • LGBTQ+-inclusive policies for patients and employees, as well as 25-plus hours of annual training
  • LGBTQ+ patient services and support
  • LGBTQ+ employee benefits and policies
  • LGBTQ+ patient and community engagement

Key initiatives from UAB Medicine:

  • Newly established one-of-a-kind Gender Health Clinic in the Southeast specifically designed for transgender patients. Services include hormone replacement therapy, gender affirming surgeries for adults, primary care and mental health.
  • Health insurance that provides coverage for transgender-specific care for transgender employees
  • Provider directory that makes it easy for LGBTQ+ patients to find a provider who caters to LGBTQ+-related care issues
  • More than 150 hours in employee trainings related to LGBTQ+ topics
  • Electronic health record with the ability to capture sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Multiple leaders in administration that identify as LGBTQ+
  • Patient and employee satisfaction surveys that allow individuals to self-identify as LGBTQ+ in order to collect more actionable data