Samaritan Health Wins National Kudos for LGBTQ+ Health Services

Big news for Samaritan Health Services – their five hospitals received a 2024 LGBTQ+ High Performer designation in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index. This is the nation’s top benchmarking survey of health care organizations on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. 

For context, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has been around for 40 years, and they’re not faint-hearted. For instance, they tout both their contribution to helping Biden defeat Trump in 2020 – and just a couple days ago issued a statement slamming the administration for its stance that gender affirming care should be reserved for adults. They’re the sort of organization that sometimes gets criticized for staying out of issues that are outside their mission. 

Back to the Healthcare Equality Index, survey participants are scored on criteria that includes: 

  • Non-discrimination and staff training. 
  • Patient services and support. 
  • Employee benefits and policies. 
  • Patient and community engagement. 
  • Responsible citizenship. 

A technical note: The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people. 

What Samaritan is saying 

“Our employees, patients, guests — anyone who interacts with Samaritan — should feel welcomed, heard and respected,” said Earlean Wilson Huey, manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Samaritan. “We are proud of our progress and recognize this is only the beginning. There is still much work to do to fully achieve our goals of providing equitable and inclusive care for everyone.”  

“Implementing initiatives aimed at promoting equality is crucial for fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of their background,” said Laurie Simpson, director of Patient Experience and Engagement at Samaritan. “These initiatives help dismantle systemic biases and barriers that have historically marginalized certain groups, ensuring everyone receives fair and equitable treatment.” 

“By advancing these initiatives, we enhance the quality of care and build trust and confidence within our diverse community that reinforces our commitment to equality and inclusion in every aspect of our health care delivery,” Simpson said. 

In a statement, Samaritan Health said, “Efforts to collect and display patient pronouns, provide comprehensive diversity and inclusion training, and establish Patient Family Advisory groups are fundamental actions that uphold the dignity and respect of every person Samaritan serves.” 

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