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Saint Luke’s Health System earns “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation in HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index at all 10 system campuses

Today, Saint Luke’s Health System announces its “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. 2017 marks the first year all 10 Saint Luke’s Health System hospital campuses received this recognition. The designation was reported in the 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting on a decade of progress in LGBTQ healthcare. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2017 survey. In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals. Of all those included in the HEI, 302 earned a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

“It is the mission of Saint Luke’s Health System to treat every patient with the highest level of dignity and respect when they walk through our doors,” said Melinda L. Estes, M.D., President and CEO of Saint Luke’s Health System. “To have all 10 of our hospital campuses receive this designation is a tremendous honor and reflective of the time and commitment the entire system has made to honorably and compassionately serve the LGBTQ community.”

“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 HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

The 10th edition of the HEI implements new criteria that raise the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time ever, HEI participants are given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

In the 2017 report, an impressive 302 facilities -- 51 percent of those actively participating in the survey -- met the more challenging criteria to earn this designation. Another 145 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 76 percent of actively-participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, it is clear that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics in adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

Saint Luke’s Health System campuses recognized include; Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Saint Luke’s East Hospital, Saint Luke’s North Hospital – Barry Road, Saint Luke’s North Hospital – Smithville, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City’s Crittenton Children’s Center, Wright Memorial Hospital, and Hedrick Medical Center in Missouri and Saint Luke’s South Hospital, Anderson County Hospital and Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital in Kansas. Saint Luke’s was the only healthcare organization to earn the HEI designation in Kansas.

About The Human Rights Campaign Foundation 
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is education arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.