Michigan Medicine receives perfect score for LGBTQ+ health care equity

Human Rights Campaign designates health care system as leader in equality

Aerial view of the Michigan Medicine campus in Ann Arbor. (Michigan Medicine)

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine was recently ranked a top medical institution for LGBTQ+ equity by the Human Rights Campaign.

University of Michigan’s health care system received 100 out of 100 possible points on the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index. This year’s index considered policies and practices among national health care systems related to the experience of its LGBTQ+ patients, employees and visitors.

“Receiving the highest score possible on the HEI is a testament to the many years of hard work that we dedicated to advancing LGBTQ+ health at Michigan Medicine,” Pedro Coracides, project manager in the Office of Patient Experience, said in a statement.

“This serves as a very proud moment in our journey towards becoming a leading institution in serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community as they seek safe and equitable care.”

Four main categories are considered when scoring the HEI:

  • Non-discrimination and staff training
  • Patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • Patient and community engagement

In 2018, Michigan Medicine established the Advisory Committee for the Advancement of LGBTQ+ Health to “create enduring and affirming spaces for patients, families, students, staff, faculty and visitors of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions at Michigan Medicine,” according to a release.

According to Michigan Medicine, the committee has done the following since its inception:

  • Developed a robust LGBTQ+ inclusive language module;
  • Promoted various Human Rights Campaign training options for its faculty and staff;
  • Created a patient-facing website focused on LGBTQ+ patient needs;
  • Added sexual orientation and gender identity-related questions to its patient satisfaction survey;
  • Updated existing patient forms to reflect increased inclusivity; and
  • Engaged with the community through various initiatives, including participating and sponsoring recent Ann Arbor Pride events.

“I’m proud of the work done by the Advisory Committee for the Advancement of LGBTQ+ Health at Michigan Medicine and many others to make it a more inclusive place to work, learn and heal,” associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion at Michigan Medicine, David Brown, said in a statement.

“This LGBTQ+ work drives our mission, advances our health care equity priorities and aligns with our core values of caring, inclusion, belonging, integrity, teamwork and innovation.”

As part of efforts to support its LGBTQ+ faculty and staff, University of Michigan has implemented a number of benefits and policies including gender-affirming health care coverage.

“This could not have been possible without all of the hard work and dedication of many individuals throughout the organization,” chief patient experience officer for Michigan Medicine Keith Gran said in a statement. “Although we scored 100, this does not mean our work around improving health care for our LGBTQ+ patients is finished.

“We have many ongoing initiatives throughout the health system to ensure our LGBTQ+ community has the best experience here possible.”

Click here to see the full Healthcare Equality Index for 2022.