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Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equaility 2019
Thursday, October 3, 2019Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center received a score of 100 on the Health Equality Index survey and was designated a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in the HEI 2019 Report. This shows our facility has made strides to ensure our LGBT Veterans receive the care they need and we are a leader in this area. Research shows that LGBT Veterans expect to experience discrimination in VHA facilities which may prevent engagement in care. Research also shows that due to stigma, stress, and discrimination, LGBT Veterans as a group experience higher rates of several health conditions compared to non-LGBT Veterans, including higher risk for suicide. Therefore, VA is working to reduce minority stress and engage sexual and gender minority Veterans in order to provide health care that addresses their needs.
Each year VHA facilities are encouraged to participate in the Human Rights Campaign's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI)*. Participation in the HEI is voluntary and consists of reporting health care systems’ policies and trainings related to LGBT patients and families, such as policies assuring inclusive language relevant for LGBT Veteran care, including non-discrimination policies, hospital visitation, caregiver education and the definition of family at VHA. Each year the results are published identifying the facilities that achieved “Leader” status in LGBT care. Additionally some facilities achieved Top Performer status for their high scores on the HEI survey. HEI leadership is known as an indicator of an LGBT-positive health care environment. Look for your facility on the Healthcare Equality Index*.
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