Newswise — UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has garnered the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s (HRC) 16th iteration of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) the nation’s premier benchmarking survey of the policies and practices health care facilities take to ensure equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.

A record 1,065 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2024 survey, 462 of which earned the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” designation. This is the 12th time UC San Diego Health has been recognized by HRC.

“We have a deep commitment to ensuring that every patient, visitor and team member feels welcome, and experiences equal access to the world-class health care we provide,” said Patty Maysent, CEO, UC San Diego Health. “We are continually working to expand our offerings for the diverse communities that we serve.”

The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria in these areas:

  • Foundational policies and training that advance LGBTQ+ patient-centered care
  • Expertise in LGBTQ+ patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policiesPatient and community engagement

Key highlights from the HEI report include, 71% of survey respondents have official plans for reducing health disparities that specifically include LGBTQ+ patients in addition to race, ethnicity, and linguistic concerns; 74% use pronouns in electronic health records to help prevent misgendering a patient; and 38% offer FMLA-equivalent benefits that allow employees to take family and medical leave to care for same-sex partners, as well as the children of a same-sex partner, regardless of biological or adoptive status.

“Health equity is of paramount importance and care must be tailored to what specific individuals and groups need,” said Crystal Cené, MD, MPH, chief administrative officer for health, equity, diversity and inclusion at UC San Diego Health. “We understand that individuals have unique health care needs within the LGBTQ+ community, and it is our mission to champion fully inclusive services.”

The region’s only academic medical center has practiced, celebrated and affirmed its commitment to health equity, including efforts such as:

  • The Owen Clinic at UC San Diego Health provides expertise in care for patients with or at risk for HIV, including rapid expansion of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention both within Owen Clinic and primary care clinics.
  • UC San Diego Health is the only hospital system in San Diego to offer the full spectrum of gender affirming care services to individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Implementation of the University of California’s Gender Recognition and Lived Name Policy, which was designed to provide at least three gender options and includes "lived names" instead of "legal names," where appropriate.
  • LGBTQ+-friendly providers are identified on UC San Diego Health’s "Find a Provider" page.

“The Healthcare Equality Index is helping people find facilities where welcoming policies and practices are the standard,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “We know that LGBTQ+ people — especially our transgender family — continue to face discrimination in the doctor’s office. No one should have to put their health on the backburner for fear of mistreatment in a health care facility or by their doctor.”

About UC San Diego Health
UC San Diego Health is one of five academic medical centers within the University of California. It is a 1,101-bed academic health system with primary, same-day and specialty care clinics throughout the region. UC San Diego Health is comprised of UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, UC San Diego Health East Campus, and Jacobs Medical Center, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion and Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, all in La Jolla. For 2023-24, U.S. News and World Report ranked UC San Diego Health as the best hospital system in San Diego and among the nation’s best in 10 adult medical and surgical specialties. For more information, visit

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