LGBT Equality: Bay Area Hospitals Are Leading the Country

Categories: Health, LGBT
Human Rights Commissioner Cecilia Chung stars in the video on LGBT healthcare equality.
Here is some good news coming on the heels of Gay Pride: Hospitals in the Bay Area -- San Francisco in particular -- are way ahead of the curve when it comes to how they treat LGBT patients, according to a Human Rights Campaign survey results released today.

A full 23 of the 27 facilities nationwide that HRC designated "Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality" are located in the Bay Area. That includes 19 facilities within Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, and UCSF Medical Center.

To be designated a "leader," the healthcare facilities had to score a perfect rating on a voluntary survey that accessed hospital policies, such as:
  • whether they have specific nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees
  • whether they have equal visitation rights for same-sex couples and parents
  • whether the hospitals provide LGBT cultural competency training for all staff.

The results are compiled in the Healthcare Equality Index 2011, which surveyed 87 respondents across the country, representing a total of 375 facilities. The index results had some interesting findings. While 90 percent of the locations had sexual orientation in a Patient's Bill of Rights and/or a non-discrimination policy, only 60 percent included gender identity in those policies.

Additionally, only 49 percent of the facilities surveyed have an explicitly inclusive patient visitation policy for same-sex couples, and only 52 percent had one for same-sex parents. At the request of President Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services handed down rules to any facility that receives federal Medicare and Medicaide funding to have LGBT inclusive visitation policies.

The HRC produced a video on inequalities in healthcare starring San Francisco Human Rights commissioner Cecilia Chung. Chung says that when she was transitioning to become a woman she had intense abdominal pain, but an emergency room -- she didn't specify which one-- dismissed her as a "drama queen" and had her escorted out by a security guard. When the pain got worse, she returned to the same hospital's emergency room, and was diagnosed with gangrene.

"If I hadn't gone into the emergency room at the 11th hour i would have died," she says. 

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

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Kaiser Permanente Cons LGBT Cripples

Kaiser discriminates against LGTB disabled patients.  Discrimination of any type, especiallyin medical care to disabled children is repulsive. It can mean life and deathfor everyday Americans and their families. Both government and private healthinsurance intentionally deny disabled Americans’ access to medical care.  Rationing=profit.  Kaiser Permanente invented rationing.

I was stricken with paralytic polio atage 6 and know firsthand what happens to entire families, when patients cannotassert their rights. My family had no health insurance.  Doctors and hospitals provided the best careat little cost. They told me that they hoped that I would repay them when Igrew up by helping others in my situation. I promised to do so and kept mypromise, with the help of the best husband in the world. I recall that AfricanAmerican child polio victims were sent to segregated hospitals and providedinferior care.

In 1999, I helped a catastrophicallyill child and his mom at a Kaiser lab, because no employee would even open anon-accessible door.  This story isposted on

A 2001 Settlement Agreement mandatedthat Kaiser Permanente implement policies and procedures to provide equalaccess to facilities and services for patients with disabilities, includingservice animals in all California medical facilities no later than 2004.  The Settlement Agreement expired in 2008,mandating no subsequent oversight.

TheSettlement Agreement has never been implemented Nitasha Lal, ADA ComplianceProgram Manager, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, has not sent me Kaiser’spolicies, which have not been disseminated to patients.  Disabled patients, who cannot access Kaiserfacilities and services, can e-mail her at 

Patient advocacy that is free fromconflict of interest, self-financed, and transparent is posted on  

Jacquelyn Finney MPA


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