Maricopa Integrated Health System, with a score of 100, has become the first and only hospital in Arizona to achieve the designation of “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for 2019.

The Healthcare Equality Index is used by LGBTQ+ patients and their families to find facilities that provide equitable and inclusive care. MIHS, soon to be Valleywise Health, is the only healthcare organization in Maricopa County to achieve this designation; El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson also has received this recognition.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. MIHS joins HRC in striving to ensure the healthcare and emotional needs of this community is met with empathy and understanding.

“I could not be prouder of this impressive achievement which underscores our historic mission to meet the needs of all who come through our doors seeking safe, equitable, and compassionate health care,” said Steve Purves, MIHS President and CEO. “I am also very proud of the amazing work our employees have done to make equality a priority, and to embrace and value the diversity of our workforce.”

Healthcare Equality Index survey participants are assessed on four criteria: non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each category and a total score of 100 points earns the status of “2019 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.”

MIHS’ transgender specific patient services, HIV specific patient services, LGBTQ+ employee group, inclusivity of employee benefit plans and policies, gender neutral restrooms, and a multitude of other policies, practices and services contributed to the achievement of this status.

“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they 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,” said HRC President Alphonso David