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UMD Health Center Named “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equity Leader” by Human Rights Campaign Foundation

The Health Center earns this designation for the seventh consecutive year, with the maximum Healthcare Equality Index score of 100.

College Park, Md.—The University of Maryland Health Center (UHC) been designated a “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” for the seventh consecutive year by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). UHC received the maximum HEI score of 100 for its gender-affirming care and policies. A record 906 healthcare facilities participated in the 2022 HEI survey and 496 of those earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation.

“The University of Maryland Health Center recognizes that building trust through demonstrated inclusivity and on-going training for all staff are critical parts of providing high-quality and LGBTQ+ inclusive healthcare,” says UHC sexual health program coordinator Dr. Jenna Messman. “We are proud to receive this recognition for the seventh year in a row and for our team’s continued commitment to best serve our LGBTQ+ students and campus community.”

“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”

Gender-Affirming Care Features at UHC

The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. It evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on four central pillars:

  1. Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care; 
  2. LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support; 
  3. Employee Benefits and Policies; and,
  4. Patient and Community Engagement 

UHC received the maximum score in each section, earning an overall score of 100. Notable features of UHC’s gender-affirming care and policies include:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) initiation or maintenance
  • Transgender healthcare and LGBTQ+ health and wellness resources on the UHC website  
  • Regular outreach to LGBTQ+ campus departments and student organizations
  • Annual LGBTQ+ continuing medical education requirements for all UHC staff
  • Electronic health records that feature patient pronouns, name in use if different from legal name, and current gender identity if it differs from sex assigned at birth
  • All-gender restrooms in public areas for patients and visitors

UHC’s robust Health Promotion and Wellness Services include regular engagement with LGBTQ+ campus departments and student organizations. This August, they released the second edition of their health and wellness guide for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Terps, as well as an episode about UHC’s gender-affirming care and hormone replacement therapy on their student-run podcast, “Any Questions.” 

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