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Martinsburg VA Medical Center

 

Medical center highlighted in 2017 Healthcare Equality Index

April 5, 2017

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.

The findings were part of HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2017, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBTQ Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

The medical center earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBTQ Veteran patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality health care and respect they deserve.

“The Martinsburg VAMC is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace,” said Betty J. Veney, medical center equal employment opportunity and diversity management officer. “We understand that diversity and inclusion are essential for a high-performing organization that delivers the best service to our Nation’s Veterans.”

The medical center is one of a select group of 303 health care facilities nationwide and the only medical center in West Virginia to be named Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria, including patient and employee non-discrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBTQ health education for key staff members.

“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. 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,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign

The Healthcare Equality Index offers health care facilities unique and powerful resources designed to help provide equal care to a long-overlooked group of patients, as well as assistance in complying with regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Health Equity coordinates facility participation in the Healthcare Equality Index. This office is responsible for championing equitable health for all Veterans, including Veterans from LGBT communities.

For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2017, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.

For more information about the VA Office of Health Equity, visit www.va.gov/healthequity.