NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that 23 of its patient care locations across all five boroughs have received the designation “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2019. This is the fourth consecutive year NYC Health + Hospitals has received this designation for the health system’s commitment to health care equity and leadership in meeting the health care needs of LGBTQ New Yorkers. The new NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt health center on Staten Island received the designation for the first time, raising the number of patient care locations recognized to 23. The health system is at the forefront of ensuring equitable access to high quality care for LGBTQ patients, offers a variety of services through its four Pride Health Centers, and offers gender-affirming surgery.
“Our commitment is to ensure all New Yorkers have access to inclusive, culturally responsive, high-quality health care. We are proud to receive this recognition and continue to break down barriers to health care that LGBTQ communities still face,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.
“As the Trump-Pence administration continues to attack the most fundamental rights of LGBTQ people, including rolling back non-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act and promoting a license to discriminate in health care, it is more important than ever that health care institutions stand with the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”
The honor acknowledges hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes across the country that embrace LGBTQ inclusion and patient-centered care. Expanding access to care for LGBTQ patients is part of the health system’s broader multi-year redesign to build a competitive, sustainable organization that will continue to offer high-quality and accessible health care to the people of New York City.
“Once again, NYC Health + Hospitals has earned well-deserved recognition for their visionary leadership in creating cutting-edge programs and services to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable LGBTQ communities,” said Ashe McGovern, Executive Director of the NYC Unity Project. “We are proud to partner with NYC Health + Hospitals in this work and grateful to know that while the federal government seeks to systematically tear down healthcare protections for our communities, our public health system continues to serve as an inspirational model for what is possible in health and hospital systems across the country.”
“Getting the opportunity to transition as a trans man with the help of NYC Health + Hospitals has been such a wonderful blessing. The staff and the LGBTQ community helped me gain confidence in myself,” said Stephen Rodriguez. “Going to emergency rooms and other hospitals, I didn’t feel as comfortable with them caring about the reason why I was there. At NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, they took care of me from the moment I walked in. Everyone was very caring and sensitive.”
“I congratulate New York City Health + Hospitals on this designation,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “With 23 sites recognized across the City, NYC Health + Hospitals has demonstrated its commitment to the specific needs of its LGBTQ patients. NYC Health + Hospitals has earned national recognition for its dedication to health equity and leadership in culturally-competent care, and I encourage LGBTQ New Yorkers to seek out health care services at these facilities.”
“For too long, members of the LGBTQ community have faced pervasive discrimination from institutions and individuals in the healthcare community, limiting access to treatment for so many. I am so proud to see New York facilities like NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt are being recognized for their effort to break this disparity and ensure that all New Yorkers are treated with respect and dignity,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals.
“This well-deserved recognition demonstrates NYC Health + Hospitals’ commitment to providing quality healthcare services for all New Yorkers regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee. “This designation is further proof that our City’s public healthcare system is at the forefront of the fight for equality, inclusion, and respect for all LGBTQ New Yorkers.”
“It is an honor to see the NYC Health + Hospitals network recognized for a fourth year as a leader for their compassionate care for the LGBTQ community by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “The NYC Health + Hospitals health care system has served as a leader in the health care industry for years due to their dedication to serve a wide range of individuals regardless of their sexual orientation, race or religious affiliation. I applaud the network and their participating doctors, nurses and supportive staff for all their work to ensure that all New Yorkers are guaranteed equitable and reliable health care.”
“When we say healthcare is a human right, when we say that New York City is a sanctuary for all, we mean that everyone living here has access to services that are inclusive, non-discriminatory, and safe,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration and the first openly gay New York City Council member from Brooklyn. “With a federal government hell bent on rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community and erasing their existence, I am proud to learn that our City-funded hospitals are being recognized as such spaces.”
To better serve the health care needs of New York City’s LGBTQ communities, NYC Health + Hospitals has four Pride Health Centers that provide culturally responsive health services to LGBTQ New Yorkers and address barriers that contribute to health disparities among LGBTQ youth and adults. The centers offer services for women’s health; men’s health; gender transition; hormone therapy; HIV and STD prevention, screening, and treatment services; adolescent care; social work and behavioral health services; and general primary care.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, a pioneer in LGBTQ medical and psychosocial care, offers a variety of services through its Pride Health Center, including gender-affirming surgery on the chest, also known as “top surgery.” Feminizing top surgery can involve breast implants or breast augmentation. Masculinizing top surgery can involve a mastectomy, or removal of breast tissue. The hospital offers top surgeries to transgender and gender non-conforming patients, who meet criteria defined by their insurance plans and their medical providers.
Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality
The complete list of 23 NYC Health + Hospitals patient care locations recognized as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation:
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.