William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison VA Hospital is LGBT Health Care Leader
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in a survey by the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The Madison VA submitted the HEI survey in 2012, pioneering the effort by being the first and only VA hospital to participate.
In 2013, the Madison VA was among 464 health care facilities in the U.S.—including 90 other VA hospitals —to be named Leaders in the LGBT Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). Criteria for the title include non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for staff members.
“The country’s healthcare facilities are leading figures in our nation’s movement toward full equality and inclusion for LGBT Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin at a press conference in July, 2013. “The Department of Veterans Affairs’ participation in the HEI is another example of President Obama’s unwavering commitment to those who put their lives on the line for the country they love, regardless of who they love.”
In a major breakthrough, 121 of the nation’s 151 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers participated in the HEI 2013, compared to just one VHA participant in the HEI 2012 (Madison VA). . Nearly 80 percent of the participating VHA facilities were awarded Equality Leader status in the HEI 2013, as they sought to welcome LGBT veterans who have served their country
“We were pleased to have this opportunity to foster a more inclusive environment for our LGBT Veterans and their families,” said Robert L. Jesse, MD, PhD, VHA Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health. “Our participation in the HEI 2013 exemplifies our untiring efforts in the pursuit of health equity for all of our Veterans.”