Newswise — LOS ANGELES — The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) Health Equality Index (HEI) designated Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders. Both Keck Medical Center — which includes Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital — and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital received the maximum score of 100 points.

The HRC Foundation is the educational arm of the HRC, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. The Healthcare Equality Leaders designation reflects Keck Medicine’s commitment to LGBTQ patient-centered care, inclusive employee policies and benefits, and engagement with and public commitment to the LGBTQ community.

This year, the HEI scored hospitals on four criteria: non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies and patient and community engagement. Health care facilities can receive up to 100 points and are deemed a “Top Performer” with a score of 80 – 95 points. See here for the HEI 2019 results.

“This award demonstrates Keck Medicine’s dedication to go beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care,” says Rodney B. Hanners, chief operating officer for Keck Medicine and chief executive officer of Keck Medical Center. “At Keck Medicine, we couple inclusivity and diversity, alongside medical excellence as we deliver quality health care that is personalized, compassionate and innovative for the LGBTQ community.”

The HEI also provides health care facilities information and resources that help ensure that LGBTQ people have access to nondiscriminatory medical care. 

In the past year, Keck Medicine enhanced its information technology to incorporate additional familial relationships, including the ability to record two mothers or two fathers and updated gender options to include nonbinary. Sexual orientation and gender identity options were also expanded, including the ability to record patients’ gender identity and birth sex separately. 

Additionally, more than 250 hours of LGBTQ health cultural competency trainings and educational events were held to educate staff members across the health system on best practices. 

The Keck PRIDE committee, which was created in 2015, helps design and implement strategies to foster a welcoming environment in clinics and hospitals for LGBTQ patients, families and employees throughout the medical enterprise. Keck Medicine’s LGBTQ health website provides resources for patients and their families.

Keck Medicine is a proud sponsor and participant in local LGBTQ events including: Latino Equality Alliance Purple Lily Awards and Calavera LGBTQ Festival, Southern California LGBTQIA Health Conference and LA Pride Parade.

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About Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine of USC is one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Its internationally renowned physicians and scientists provide world-class patient care at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and more than 80 outpatient clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

In 2019-20, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center among the top 3 hospitals in Los Angeles and top 5 in California. The hospital also ranked in the top 4 in urology (tie); top 10 in geriatrics; top 15 in ophthalmology, cardiology & heart surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery and nephrology; top 20 in neurology & neurosurgery; top 25 in cancer; and top 35 in pulmonology & lung surgery.

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