Guthrie Earns "LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader" Designation

June 3, 2024
Guthrie Earns "LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader" Designation

The Guthrie Clinic announced today that four Guthrie facilities have received LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded as part of the recently released HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 1,065 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. Of those participants, 384 earned the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation.

Guthrie Corning Hospital, Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Troy Community Hospital each participated in the Healthcare Equality Index survey and earned a score of 100. Leader status is granted to health care facilities that earn a score of 100, which is earned by receiving full credit in all sections of the HEI. These Guthrie hospitals were the only facilities in the region to receive the Leader designation.

"This designation celebrates Guthrie’s commitment to ensuring an inclusive environment that respects and values diversity, providing equitable treatment to all who work, learn and receive care here," said Dr. Edmund Sabanegh, President and CEO of Guthrie. "It not only elevates the standard of care we offer but also ensures that every patient and caregiver feels respected and valued within our facilities."

The HEI promotes LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and affirming practices in health care facilities and formally recognizes those facilities that lead the field in LGBTQ+ inclusion. Since it began in 2016, the HEI has successfully encouraged hospitals and other health care facilities across the nation to adopt LGBTQ+ inclusive patient, visitation and employment policies. Facilities receive points for meeting specific requirements and by having a certain number of best practices and policies in place.

Guthrie has made significant strides in fostering a more inclusive health care environment for caregivers and patients. These efforts include a Standard Equal Visitation Policy, ensuring all patients receive equal support and visitation rights regardless of gender identity and the addition of all-gender restrooms. Guthrie has embraced the use of pronoun buttons, empowering both caregivers and patients to communicate and respect personal pronouns effortlessly, and the system’s electronic health record captures a patient's gender identity and pronouns accurately, providing personalized and respectful care. The establishment of a comprehensive Gender Transition Policy supports caregivers through their transition process. And the addition of a floating holiday allows for caregivers to enjoy a day of cultural or personal significance that further embraces diversity in the workplace. Together, these initiatives underscore Guthrie's dedication to creating a health care environment that is respectful, supportive, and affirming for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

“As anti-LGBTQ+ extremists look to strip away health care access at every turn, LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones are looking for health care providers to offer and champion fully inclusive services. 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.