We wouldn't wish a trip to Jackson Memorial Hospital on our worst enemies. Yet according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign, the public Jackson Health System is the only hospital in the entire southern United States cited this year for providing equal care to LGBT patients. That's a big change of attitude for a hospital that once made national headlines for discriminatory policies and a sad indictment of the rest of the hospitals in the region.
That's assuming you don't consider D.C, and Maryland part of the South, and you do consider Miami an actual part of it.
The results were tabulated from a voluntary survey, and more than 315 facilities in 29 states responded to the questionnaire. The hospital were asked whether or not they met the following criteria:
1a Patients' Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes
1b Patients' Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes
"gender identity or expression" or "gender identity"
2a Explicitly inclusive visitation policy grants same-sex couples equal
visitation access as different-sex couples and next of kin
2b Explicitly inclusive visitation policy grants same-sex parents equal
visitation access as different-sex parents for their minor children
3 Provide cultural competency training addressing healthcare issues
relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
4a Equal employment opportunity policy includes "sexual orientation"
4b Equal employment opportunity policy includes "gender identity or
expression" or "gender identity
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Jackson Health Systems got perfect marks, and was awarded a shiny, new "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" accolade. It is one of only 27 facilities in America to pick up the award.
The distinction is an important turn around for Jackson. Back in 2008 the system made headlines when a woman collapsed during a Miami vacation and the hospital barred her female partner and children from seeing her. The woman died alone.
Broward's Memorial Healthcare System also responded to the survey, but don't have protections for gender identity for either patients or employees and does not provide cultural competency training.