University of California Health (UCH) hospitals across the state have been recognized as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The HEI, now in its 13th year, benchmarks health care facilities across the nation on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients, visitors and employees. A record 765 health care facilities nationwide participated in this year’s HEI. 

"When a patient, employee or visitor comes to a UC hospital, we want them to know they are seen and respected. We are gratified by this recognition, and we also know that the pursuit of an inclusive, equitable environment requires ongoing commitment and action," said Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president of UCH and an infectious disease expert.

UCH locations earning the Healthcare Equality Leader designation all achieved the required score of 100 in the evaluation:

  • UC Davis Health’s Medical Center, which was recognized for the 10th consecutive year, and UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services.
  • UCI Health’s Medical Center.
  • UCLA Health’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and UCLA Health – Santa Monica Medical Center. UCLA Health has been recognized each year since 2013. 
  • UC San Diego Health, with hospitals in La Jolla and Hillcrest, and clinics across the region, earned the designation for the eighth consecutive year.
  • UCSF Health, including UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, which was the first major medical center in the nation to participate in the HEI when it was created in 2007 and the only major institution nationally to have received Equality Leader status for 13 consecutive years.

Additionally, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center was named as a Healthcare Equality Leader in this year’s index.

UCH hospitals have a history of working toward creating more supportive LGBTQ health care, including UCSF’s groundbreaking step to launch the first dedicated LGBTQ office in health care or health education, the first and only Lesbian Health Research Center, the new Center for Sexual & Gender Minority Health, and efforts to help secure gender-affirming health coverage for all University of California students and employees, the first such coverage at any major U.S. employer.

In more recent years, UCH has updated its electronic medical record system to better serve LGBTQ health needs and address often invisible health disparities by offering the ability to document sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, through its LGBTQ Health Initiative, UCLA Health in 2019 established a fellowship to help train future primary care physicians in delivering health care to sexual and gender minority patient populations.

HEI-participating organizations were scored on LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four categories:

  • Foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care: an LGBTQ-inclusive patient non-discrimination policy, an LGBTQ-inclusive visitation policy, an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy, and staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care
  • Patient services and support
  • Employee benefits and policies
  • Patient and community engagement

In addition, participants had to demonstrate that they offered transgender inclusive health care benefits to their employees to receive a score of 100 points and earn the Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality designation. 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization

About University of California Health
University of California Health (UCH) comprises five academic health centers, a community-based health system in Riverside and 20 health professional schools. All of UC’s hospitals are ranked among the best in California and its medical schools and health professional schools are nationally ranked in their respective areas. More information and news from University of California Health is available here.