July 11, 2013
BAY PINES, Fla. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) has been recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization.
The healthcare system earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing adequate healthcare.
"The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is committed to serving all the men and women who served our nation with honor and distinction," said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.
"Our participation in the 2013 national HEI survey demonstrates our commitment to health care equity for all Veterans and we are honored to be recognized as a national leader," she said.
The Bay Pines VAHCS was one of a select group of 464 healthcare facilities nationwide to be named Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality. Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria for equitable 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.
The healthcare system was congratulated by HRC Health & Aging Director Shane Snowdon. "LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. It makes a big difference to know that your local health care facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers."
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.
About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation's leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,500 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The Bay Pines VAHCS is accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The healthcare system is also a three-time winner of the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Award, the VA's top honor for quality achievement.
The healthcare system operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.
Every year Bay Pines VAHCS treats approximately 100,000 Veterans while providing a full range of high quality medical, psychiatric, and extended care services in outpatient, inpatient, nursing home, and home care settings. For more information about the Bay Pines VAHCS, please visit www.baypines.va.gov or "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines.