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UI Health recognized for LGBT-inclusive policies

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.

The designation is given to facilities that meet key criteria including having patient and employee nondiscrimination 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.

“This is a significant achievement for UI Health, and we are proud to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for our system-wide policies that ensure equality for all our patients, employees and their family members, and help provide a ‘person centered’ experience,” said Airica Steed, UI Health’s chief experience officer.

“We have an incredibly diverse workforce here, and our hiring practices, benefits and policies reflect our commitment to inclusiveness,” said Mary Jo Smith, assistant vice president of human resources at UI Health.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation conducts an annual survey of health care organizations throughout the United States to evaluate policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of LGBT patients, visitors and employees. UI Health was among 1,507 healthcare facilities evaluated by the survey and included in the Foundation’s 2014 Healthcare Equality Index and was one of 426 facilities named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” based on the survey results.