Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals have distinct health needs that can lead to higher instances of certain mental and physical health challenges.
In Wisconsin and Illinois, Advocate Aurora Health took vital steps to meet the LGBTQ community’s unique health needs. Under the guidance of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center became the system’s first facility to obtain HEI accreditation. This site-specific accreditation showcases Advocate Masonic’s efforts to uphold best practices that promote equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ patients, families and team members.
Aurora Sinai Medical Center was selected as the next facility to apply for HEI accreditation. Aurora leaders and team members formed an LGBTQ health steering committee dedicated to leading Aurora Sinai’s accreditation submission process. In the coming years, Advocate Aurora Health will continue to leverage the HEI accreditation as a benchmark for our success as an LGBTQ-affirming health system.
The HEI accreditation framework has sparked subsequent conversations about further improving the health of the LGBTQ community. Additional efforts to broaden our impact are underway, including a comprehensive care delivery model to provide guidance on transgender health care, increased community partnerships with LGBTQ-affirming organizations and broadened deployment of LGBTQ-related learning opportunities for team members.
Transforming healthcare requires leadership to build a diverse and inclusive environment where team members can thrive and provide a culturally competent care environment for all patients. By staying connected and committed to the specific needs of our community, we are able to provide culture-centered care which results in better health outcomes for all.