Let’s face it, in many parts of our beloved country being a part of the LGBT community can be a difficult road to travel, which is one of the many reasons I am so happy to live in the Palm Springs Valley, a place that strives to treat all of its residents and visitors with dignity and equality. What made me even happier was to hear about the recognition that my favorite local hospital—the venerable Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage—was recently given by the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index. This annual survey is conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization—one that I am very proud to support as a straight ally. Said survey acknowledged Eisenhower, along with only 464 other health care facilities nationwide, as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.” The hospital earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing adequate health care.
My pal Martin Massiello, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Eisenhower, tells me, “Eisenhower Medical Center is dedicated to providing the safest and highest level of care possible. To achieve that means providing equal treatment to each and every patient and employee. Being recognized as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality underscores Eisenhower Medical Center’s commitment to not only our patients and staff, but also to the LGBT community in the Coachella Valley.”
To be awarded this title, hospitals must demonstrate equitable patient care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members. I couldn’t be prouder of the hospital that—as a patient, volunteer, and fundraiser—I have grown to love and admire. To download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei. www.emc.org