Hershey Medical Center earns top recognition for LGBTQ+ inclusion and affirmation

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been recognized as a Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) for its commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) inclusion for patients and employees. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center earned the highest possible rating on HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The 15th edition of the index was released in March.

April 19, 2022Penn State Health News

“Hershey Medical Center is committed to providing excellent, compassionate, culturally responsive and equitable care. We live our mission in the work we do to build individual and cultural competence to understand and support the diverse communities we serve,” said Deborah Berini, president. “Our partnership with HRC is an important part of our story, and we appreciate the many resources it provides to help us advance our work.”

The index issued by the HRC is the national LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practice related to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. Facilities receive scores based on four core pillars:

  • Policies that ensure foundational protection for patients, visitors and staff and provide culturally competent training on LGBTQ+ inclusion
  • LGBTQ+ patient care and support
  • LGBTQ+-inclusive employee support and benefits
  • Demonstrated public commitment to LGBTQ+ community

Hershey Medical Center has a long-standing commitment of service to LGBTQ+ patients and employees, including related events and initiatives, transgender-specific clinical services, treatments and services based on a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and a comprehensive Gender Health Clinic that serves children and adolescents.

“Penn State Health strives to ensure an environment where people of all sexual orientation and gender identities, ages, skin colors, religions, languages and backgrounds feel comfortable coming to us for care. Patients must feel respected, valued and heard,” said Penn State Health CEO Steve Massini. “We appreciate the tools, resources and support of the HRC in helping us ensure we can provide the highest quality care to everyone in our community.”

Hershey Medical Center is one of 496 facilities that participated in the 2022 HEI survey with a score high enough to earn the Healthcare Equality Leader designation. To learn more about the 2022 HEI, visit the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s website.

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