Grace Cottage earns top marks for LGBTQ+ care

The national Human Rights Campaign Foundation of Washington, D.C., has announced that Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital of Townshend has earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” designation, with a score of 95 out of 100 in the foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index.

A record 906 healthcare facilities participated in the 2022 HEI survey, and 251 of those earned “Top Performer” designation.

Only two Vermont hospitals — Grace Cottage and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction — earned “Top Performer” status with scores of 95/100.

The HRC Foundation’s 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.

The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:

  • Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care;
  • LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support;
  • Employee Benefits and Policies; and
  • Patient and Community Engagement.

“We are dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality care that is free from discrimination and affirming of gender identity and sexual orientation,” said Doug DiVello, President and CEO of Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital. “We are very honored to have received ‘Top Performer’ designation, which affirms that our employees are committed to providing inclusive care for all the patients that we serve.”

HRC Foundation’s Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging, says that, “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.”

2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the HEI campaign.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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