New Orleans — For the third consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation named CrescentCare as a Leader In LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. The index scores healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. Only 418 facilities, including CrescentCare, earned the perfect p score of 100.
“At a time when health care and the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top healthcare facilities are driving progress toward equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “These top-scoring facilities are not only establishing policies that save LGBTQ lives every day, they have become vocal advocates for equality in the public square. This year, we are heartened to see corporate champions, including many healthcare systems, not just speaking out, but also doubling down on their commitment to equality.”
CrescentCare, a federally qualified health center, began in 1983 as NO/AIDS Task Force, a non-profit organization that was at the helm of the AIDS crisis in New Orleans. In 2014, the organization transitioned into a primary care facility that offers healthcare to all.
“Our roots as NO/AIDS Task Force has made achieving this designation a natural fit for us as CrescentCare since we have served many in the LGBTQ community for so long,” said Noel Twilbeck, CEO of CrescentCare. “But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take hard work and a conscious effort every day to make it happen. We work hard at having an inclusive environment for our patients, visitors and employees. I am proud of the inclusiveness of our organization.”
In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
The remarkable progress reflected in the 2018 HEI include:
59 percent increase in hospitals that have written gender transition guidelines;
42 percent increase in hospitals that offer trans-inclusive benefits;
21 percent increase in the number of participants that have transgender-specific policies;
63 percent increase in training hours recorded – clocking in at more than 70,000 hours of LGBTQ care training provided.
“While the 2018 HEI shows a growing commitment across the nation to equitable and inclusive health care, it also illustrates work left to be done,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Health Equality Project, and author of the HEI. “And that work has never been more urgent, given the all-out assaults on the LGBTQ community from the highest levels of government.”
The potential damage that could be caused by the proposed Trump-Pence “conscience” regulation — another effort to allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people — is already spreading fear through vulnerable communities. In comments submitted today to the administration, parents, spouses, nurses and physicians are among a growing chorus expressing alarm at the prospect of allowing health care workers to prioritize their beliefs over care — whether it be for a transgender person, for a patient seeking life-saving access to PrEP, or LGBTQ couples needing fertility services to start their family.
Recently, CrescentCare launched a series of advertisements called, “We See You” that reinforces CrescentCare’s commitment to the LGBTQ community.
CrescentCare’s mission is to offer comprehensive health and wellness services to the community, to advocate empowerment, to safeguard the rights and dignity of individuals, and to provide for an enlightened public.