Newswise — LOS ANGELES — Keck Medicine of USC hospitals and USC Student Health, part of Keck Medicine, received the ‘LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader’ designation in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2024 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).  

HEI is the leading national benchmarking survey of health care facility policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. A record 1,065 health care facilities participated in the 2024 HEI survey; only 36% (384 facilities) earned ‘LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader’ designation. 

“Keck Medicine is proud to serve the LGBTQ+ community through patient-centered care, dedicated advocacy and fostering a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment,” said Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine. “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to delivering quality care tailored to the diverse needs of the LGBTQ+ community within a supportive and inclusive setting.” 

Keck Medicine hospitals include Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, and community hospitals, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH) and USC Arcadia Hospital (USC-AH). This marks the seventh time in recent years that Keck Hospital, USC Norris and USC-VHH have received the 'LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader' distinction, and it is the first time USC-AH is honored with this distinction since joining Keck Medicine in 2022. 

“Receiving this designation is a significant milestone for USC Arcadia Hospital,” said Ikenna (Ike) Mmeje, CEO of USC-AH. “We are proud to stand with our health system colleagues in support of our LGBTQ+ community.” 

USC Student Health, which provides comprehensive health care to USC students, participated in the survey for the second time and joins a select group of college health care providers in receiving the leader designation. 


Continued Commitment to Inclusivity and Equity 

Keck Medicine leads multiple initiatives and programs in support of the LGBTQ+ community, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to inclusivity and equity.  

The USC Gender Affirming Care Program offers comprehensive health care tailored to transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse patients. The program’s dedicated patient navigator assists patients with their personalized needs throughout their health care journey. 

Keck Medicine also maintains a collaboration with The TransLatin@ Coalition, a trans-led nonprofit organization that advocates for the needs of transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex immigrants. The collaboration includes education and training opportunities for faculty and staff across both organizations regarding best practices in LGBTQ+ health care, as well as community engagement, focus groups and forums to advance dialogue to share progress and solicit input and feedback. 

As a sponsor of the Latino Equality Alliance LGBTQ+ Youth College Scholarship Program, the health system created the Keck Medicine of USC scholarship to support LGBTQ+ students pursuing health care careers and has awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships since 2019. 

Keck Medicine has also been a medical sponsor of AIDS/LifeCycle since 2020, supporting riders and volunteers, including staff, who raise funds to provide access to HIV/AIDS medical care and end stigma. 

Since its inception in 2015, the Keck Pride employee resource group has been a pillar in creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, families, staff and the community and is a driving force in many of the health system’s initiatives.   


HEI Criteria  

The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria in four categories: 

  • Foundational non-discrimination protection for patients, visitors and staff via policies and training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care. 
  • LGBTQ+ patient services and support. 
  • LGBTQ+ inclusive employee policies and benefits.  
  • LGBTQ+ community and patient engagement. 

To receive ‘LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader’ designation, health care facilities must receive the maximum score in each criteria and earn an overall score of 100.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people. 


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