Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System named a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" by national survey
October 15, 2014
BAY PINES, FL – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) has been recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
The findings were part of HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2014, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans, and recognizes healthcare institutions doing the best work.
The Bay Pines VAHCS earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients, and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality health care and respect they deserve.
"At the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and our clinics located across southwest Florida, we are committed to providing a safe, inclusive, high-quality health care environment for all Veterans," said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS. "Our participation in the 2014 national HEI survey demonstrates our commitment to health care equity for all the men and women we serve. We are honored to be recognized as a national leader for the second year in a row," she said.
The Bay Pines VAHCS was one of a select group of 426 healthcare facilities nationwide to be named Leaders in LGBT 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 LGBT health education for key staff members.
"Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality change the lives of LGBT patients and their families for the better each and every day," said Chad Griffin, HRC president. "LGBT people should be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates Bay Pines for their tireless work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients."
The Healthcare Equality Index offers healthcare 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 new regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training. For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2014, 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 3,800 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS 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. To learn more, please visit www.baypines.va.gov or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines.