Henry Ford Health Earns Top Ratings from Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ+ Healthcare, Equity

April 20, 2022
LGBTQ+ Recognition from Human Rights Campaign

All Henry Ford Health hospitals earned a rating of 100 on the latest Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index 

DETROIT (April 20, 2022) – All five hospitals within Henry Ford Health have been recognized as an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) in its 2022 Healthcare Equality Index, which is a tool that evaluates healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. 

Henry Ford is one of only two healthcare organizations in Michigan recognized by HRC as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader. This is the third consecutive year all hospitals within Henry Ford have earned this designation.

“As a healthcare organization committed to equity and inclusion, earning the highest rating from the Human Rights Campaign on its latest Healthcare Equality Index is inspiring and a true reflection of Henry Ford Health’s caring environment, driven by our compassionate team members,” says Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity and Chief Wellness & Diversity Officer at Henry Ford Health. “This honor recognizes our commitment to providing equitable and inclusive care and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning patients and employees, and ensures we are regularly assessing our success in driving inclusive policies and best practices by submitting our data for evaluation."

Now in its 15th year, the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index continues to grow in the number of healthcare institutions that are embracing and adopting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2022 survey. 

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

Inclusion on the list is based on participating healthcare facilities recognizing the importance of implementing LGBTQ+-inclusive practices alongside their foundational non-discrimination policies.
Henry Ford’s LGBTQ+-supportive policies are numerous and include:

  • A Henry Ford Health dedicated LGBTQ+ Health Resources web page.
  • A Henry Ford run clinic in the Ruth Ellis Center, which provides trauma-informed services for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults.
  • Hospital visitation policies that grant equal visitation to LGBTQ+ patients and their families.
  • Provider and employee training on LGBTQ+ patient-centered care and unconscious bias.
  • Availability of all gender restrooms in all Henry Ford care facilities.
  • An Employee Resource Group (ERG) called PRIDE, which strengthens the organization’s workforce through recruitment of talented LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Equal benefits for married LGBTQ+ team members and their same sex partner.
  • Support LGBTQ+ community events such as Pride Month and Happy National Coming Out Day activities.

This year marks the fifth year that HEI participants were given a score based on how many LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices they have in place in four different criteria. The first criteria consist of the foundational elements of LGBTQ+ patient-centered care. The three remaining criteria are Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement. In addition, participants must demonstrate that they offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees in order to receive the top score of 100 points and earn HRC’s LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation. This year, 496 participants earned this top designation.

To learn more about LGBTQ+ resources for patients, visitors and employees, visit henryford.com/LGBTQ.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Adkins / 586.307.2027 / [email protected]

About Henry Ford Health
Serving communities across Michigan and beyond, Henry Ford Health is committed to partnering with patients and members along their entire health journey. Henry Ford Health provides a full continuum of services – from primary and preventative care, to complex and specialty care, health insurance, a full suite of home health offerings, virtual care, pharmacy, eye care and other healthcare retail.

It is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, recognized for clinical excellence in cancer care, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, and multi-organ transplants. Consistently ranked among the top five NIH-funded institutions in Michigan, Henry Ford Health engages in more than 2,000 research projects annually. Equally committed to educating the next generation of health professionals, Henry Ford Health trains more than 4,000 medical students, residents and fellows every year across 50+ accredited programs.  

With more than 33,000 valued team members, Henry Ford Health is also among Michigan’s largest and most diverse employers, including nearly 6,000 physicians and researchers from the Henry Ford Medical Group, Henry Ford Physician Network and Jackson Health Network. 

The health system is led by President and CEO, Wright L. Lassiter, III, and serves a growing number of customers across 250+ locations throughout Michigan including five acute care hospitals, two destination facilities for complex cancer and orthopedics and sports medicine care, three behavioral health facilities, primary care and urgent care centers.