By Patrick Donachie
Several area medical centers were recently celebrated as being among the most welcoming and hospitable facilities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and family members in the country, according to a nonprofit fighting for LGBT rights.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation singled out 10 Northwell Health hospitals in the area, including Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, Long Island Jewish Hospital in Forest Hills and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. The medical centers were named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the foundation. In all, 496 hospitals garnered the accolade, with 71 of them located in New York state.
Northwell Health released a statement marking the news and noted that the 10 hospitals “earned top marks in four leadership areas: patient non-discrimination, equality of family visitation, employment non-discrimination and training in LGBT patient-centered care.”
Northwell Health is the state’s largest health provider, with 21 hospitals throughout the region.
“This is a major honor for our health system and reflects Northwell Health’s commitment to advancing LGBT patient care, research and education within our community and beyond,” Michael Dowling, the CEO and president of Northwell Health, said in the statement. “We hope that our efforts continue to have a positive impact on the policies and actions regarding LGBT health.”
Mount Sinai Hospital Queens in Long Island City and Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica were two other Queens-based facilities that received the designation and were praised for their work and approach.
Hospitals and medical centers earn the designation based on the answers given in the Human Rights Campaign’s “Healthcare Equality Index.” According to the HRC’s site, the index is the “national LGBT benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBT patients, visitors and employees.” The most recent index catalogued answers from 2,061 healthcare facilities throughout the country in the past year.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona