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Seattle Children’s Earns Top Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Healthcare Equality Index

Seattle Children’s was one of a select group of healthcare providers nationwide to earn the coveted “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation


Today, Seattle Children’s received an evaluation of 100 and the designation of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities nationwide on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey and 496 of those earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.

Seattle Children’s is one of two pediatric hospitals in Washington state and one of 37 pediatric hospitals in the nation to receive this designation

“We are committed to creating a safe, gender-affirming care environment for patients and families – and I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made and our devotion to this work,” said Erik Lausund, vice president of research operations at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “It is also essential that we continue to create a community and workplace where LGBTQ+ workforce members feel supported and are able to thrive,” added Lausund, who also serves as the executive sponsor for the Seattle Children’s Q Pod Network, an inclusion program that advocates for LGBTQ+ patients, families and workforce members. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the Q Pod Network’s mission is to educate the workforce and families with information and resources on LGBTQ+ issues and provide a network for staff to build a strong, supportive and inclusive community.

Seattle Children’s has taken a number of actions that contributed to this top designation, including: driving education around LGBTQ+ patient-centered care; publishing employment non-discrimination, patient non-discrimination, and equal visitation policies; and supporting an inclusive and gender-affirming care environment for patients and families by ensuring that preferred pronouns, chosen names, and gender identity are consistently captured in patient records.

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

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

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

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Foundation, along with Seattle Children’s Guild Association – the largest all volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country – works with our generous community to raise funds for lifesaving care and research.

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