On March 28, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) recognized UCLA Health as a “LGBTQ++ Healthcare Equality Leader.”
For the past nine years, UCLA Health has been recognized for its efforts to provide an inclusive and equitable environment for patients and employees.
“Patients tell us that visible signs of inclusivity, like the HEI designation, show them that our offices are safe spaces. They know they will be welcomed here, celebrated for who they are, and cared for sensitively and compassionately,” says Amy K. Weimer, MD, co-founder and medical director of the Gender Health Program.
Of the 906 health care facilities that participated in the 2022 HEDI survey, UCLA Health was one of 496 of those that earned the designation.
“The designation has deep meaning to our care team, who work tirelessly to ensure all of our patients receive outstanding care in an affirming, patient-centered environment,” Dr. Weimer says.
There are more than 50 providers at UCLA Health designated as “LGBTQ+ Champions,” which are physicians who have specialized training and experience in caring for LGBTQ+ patients.
LGBTQ+ patient-centered care
In addition to this designation, UCLA Health offers several programs, initiatives and practices that focus on LGBTQ+ care.
In 2018, UCLA Health became one of the first in the nation to adopt a system-wide electronic health record that captured preferred names and pronouns.
The Gender Health Program, which was established in 2016, was created to provide a compassionate, sensitive and knowledgeable environment to transgender and gender-diverse patients of all ages. The program spans primary care services, hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgeries, gynecological care, behavioral health services and more.
Also launched in 2016 were the LGBTQ+ Health Initiative and Equitable Care Committee (ECC), which aim to improve services and care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families. The ECC is comprised of work groups that include leadership, staff, patients and members of the LGBTQ+ community. They aim to develop and implement policies and practices that ensure UCLA Health remains an equitable, inclusive, compassionate and diverse workplace environment.
UCLA EMPWR Program is a joint initiative out of the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health and UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry. It connects patients and their families to an expert team of attending psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as supervised advanced trainees who provide comprehensive mental health care.
The UCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) provides state-of-the-art medical care and continues its 40-year history in conducting clinical trials for people living with HIV and AIDS. It also provides HIV-prevention services.
The UCLA Vine Street Clinic, a center for clinical trials, behavioral research and direct services, is part of the HIV Prevention and HIV Vaccine Trials Networks (HPTN and HVTN). Clinic staff conduct cutting-edge research on new approaches to HIV prevention, including monoclonal antibodies, new PrEP agents and HIV vaccine candidates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic partnered with Moderna to conduct a Phase-3 trial of the company’s mRNA vaccine. They helped to enroll a large number of Black and Latinx participants, improving clinical trial recruitment diversity.
The Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, which is part of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, provides LGBTQ+ cancer patients and their families with resources about cancer risk factors, support and care.
UCLA Health offers free training to employees interested in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care. The course is offered as credit by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Additional resources for providers can be found here.
Read the full HEI release here.
Visit the Gender Health Program at UCLA Health to learn more and make an appointment.