Hartford HealthCare hospitals were recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and colleagues.

The group designated Backus Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Windham Hospital, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, MidState Medical Center, Natchaug Hospital and the Behavioral Health Network as Healthcare Equality Leaders. They are among 496 hospitals nationwide to earn a perfect score of 100 for this achievement. In addition, St. Vincent’s Medical Center was among 251 hospitals nationwide to earn Top Performer status.

“Patients want to see themselves represented in these spaces to know they will get high-quality, affirming and safe care,” said Derek Fenwick, PsyD, clinical coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Right Track at the Institute of Living, part of the Behavioral Health Network, who helped spearhead the lengthy application process. “The designation gives a sense of community.”

The application addressed everything from policies to human resources documents and insurance coverage to the physical environment at each facility, such as artwork and signage, Dr. Fenwick added.

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The announcement of hospital designations came as part of the 15th anniversary of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities in this area. It highlights work done across HHC to address diversity, equity and inclusion.

“This puts the exclamation point on our mission to support our LGBTQ colleagues and patients we wish to serve,” said President and CEO Jeffrey A. Flaks. “This is such an important part of healthcare delivery, as we work together to make it more accessible, affordable and equitable.”

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HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria under four central pillars:

  • Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care.
  • LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support.
  • Employee Benefits and Policies.
  • Patient and Community Engagement.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2022 HEI includes:

  • 93% of participants met the HEI’s training requirements, completing more than 200,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.
  • 82% of participating facilities earned either the Leader or Top Performer.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
  • 81% of HEI participants offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees, up from 75 percent in 2019, the first year this it was required in order to obtain Leader status.