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For Immediate Release: April 20, 2016
For the fifth year in a row, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, has recognized AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality." The HRC is 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 2016, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors and employees.
"Through AtlantiCare's Diversity & Inclusion Council, our employee resource groups – including our PRIDE ERG – help us enhance the care we provide all communities," said Nilda Mahrer, manager, HR programs.
The HRC's most recent recognition is for AtlantiCare's work protecting patients' visitation rights and providing employee education which the HEI 2017 Resource Guide highlights as best practices. AtlantiCare includes information about these and other steps it has taken in AtlantiCare's Diversity & Inclusion Journey, 2010-2015 report.
AtlantiCare 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.
AtlantiCare is one of a select group of 496 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.
"Despite all the progress we've made, far too many LGBT people still lack inclusive and affirming healthcare. Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality are helping to change that, and, in the process, making the lives of LGBT patients and their families better each and every day," said Chad Griffin, president of the HRC. "LGBT people have a right to be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates AtlantiCare for its 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 regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training.
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2016, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei. The report is the result of an annual survey conducted by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the country's largest LGBT organization.
About AtlantiCare's Diversity & Inclusion Council
AtlantiCare's Diversity & Inclusion Council, which includes physicians, staff and leadership from throughout AtlantiCare, established employee resource groups (ERGs). The ERGs help support the mission of the Diversity & Inclusion Council by educating staff about the culture/community; celebrating community/cultural holidays and events; representing AtlantiCare at community/cultural events; enhancing recruitment efforts; and identifying top health concerns and developing ideas for addressing these concerns. AtlantiCare ERG groups include African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Disabilities, Hispanic Americans, Interfaith, LGBT, Military, and Women.
AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,400 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.