, OK — The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (JCMVAMC) is pleased to announce that it has been named a top performer in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 15th anniversary edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
JCMVAMC received an evaluation of 95 out of 100 and the designation of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer.”
HEI is considered among the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of health care facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors, and staff.
“Being rated as a ‘Top Performer’ is a tremendous honor and reflection of the hard work our staff has put into making the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System a compassionate and welcoming place that meets the needs of our LGBTQ+ staff and Veterans,” said Dr. Michael McKee, LGBTQ+ Care Coordinator. “We are deeply committed to breaking down all barriers that negatively impact the LGBTQ+ community’s sense of personal meaning and value and their ability to enjoy the same rights and privileges that all segments of society should enjoy. The true importance of achieving such a high score is not the score itself, but what it represents. It boldly says to our LGBTQ+ community, ‘We believe in you, we respect you and we are here for you.’ “
According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities using 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.
A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey. JCMVAMC is in good company as one of 251 facilities earning the ‘Top Performer’ designation, with scores between 80-95 points and at least partial credit in each section.
To receive a score from HEI, several pages of questions, documents, and photos had to be submitted showing how the medical center supports the LGBTQ+ community. The facility gained points for items such as:
- Providing access to gender neutral bathrooms.
- Community outreach and services provided for Veterans and staff.
- Nondiscriminatory health benefits for employees.
- Surveys related to LGBTQ+ employees and Veterans.
- Services and groups offered to LGBTQ+ Veterans and more.
“We are very proud of our score and all of the accomplishments in the LGBTQ+ Program,” said Terri Woodworth, LGBTQ+ Employment Program manager, “We have raised our HEI score from 20 to 95 over the last several years and this score is evidence of the hard work that has gone into creating a caring and inclusive health care system for not only our LGBTQ+ Veterans, but our LGBTQ+ staff as well.”
To learn more, visit: LGBTQ+ Veteran Care | VA Eastern Oklahoma Health Care | Veterans Affairs.