LGBT Healthcare Equality Leader
WPIC Recognized by Human Rights Campaign Foundation
as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality
The Department of Psychiatry’s clinical partner, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC (WPIC), has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
The recognition is part of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2016, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors, and employees. WPIC earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate their commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality health care and respect they deserve.
“LGBT individuals report significant health disparities, and these are largely due to minority stress experiences such as discrimination. I am proud to say that WPIC has worked diligently to provide a safe space for LGBT community members to receive high-quality mental health care,” said Dr. Michael Marshal, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry who directs a federally-funded program of research to investigate mental health disparities among LGBT youth.
WPIC was among a select group of healthcare facilities nationwide to be named a leader in LGBT healthcare equality. Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria, including patient and employee nondiscrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members. This is WPIC’s second year of receiving recognition.
“At WPIC, we recognize the challenges faced by all of our patients in need of mental health care and worrying about discrimination should not be another struggle. All of our patients have unique needs and we embrace their differences and their strengths, including those members of the LGBT community,” said Carol VanZile, LCSW, WPIC’s director of regulatory compliance. “We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of care to the patients we serve and their visitors in a compassionate and respectful way by teaching the value of diversity and continually working to improve the patient experience.”
The healthcare Equality Index offers healthcare facilities unique resources designed to help provide equal care to a long-overlooked group of patients, as well as assistance in complying with new regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training.
Visit the Human Rights Council website for more information or to download a free copy of the report.