New Hanover Regional Medical Center has achieved the “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
This is an especially noteworthy milestone for NHRMC because of the tireless efforts of the STAR employee resource group focusing on supporting LGBTQIA employees. When the group formed two years ago, they participated in the HEI survey to assess our organizational baseline. At that time, NHRMC was the lowest-scoring organization among those that participated in North Carolina.
STAR members got to work. Their efforts included reviewing policies and procedures, training top leaders, updating new employee orientation materials, revising patient advocate signs and updating the electronic health record to better support the care of LGBTQIA patients.
“With the help of our friends and colleagues throughout the organization, we increased our score from 25/100 to 85/100 and are now recognized nationally as an organization committed to diversity, inclusion, and belonging for our patients AND our employees,” STAR co-chairs Amber Woodard and Terri DeWees wrote in an article about the efforts
. “Participating in the HEI survey has allowed us to set measurable goals related to NHRMC’s mission and vision and we are so proud of the collaboration we have witnessed across the organization in support of this work.”
Every year, HRC recognizes the health care facilities that participate in the HEI for their dedication and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion. In the 2020 report, 495 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 193 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points.