Home Equality: UVA Health earns LGBTQ award from national human rights foundation
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Equality: UVA Health earns LGBTQ award from national human rights foundation

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UVA Health University Medical Center has been honored with the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader award from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

The award acknowledges the medical center for its equitable treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients, visitors and team members.

UVA Health University Medical Center earned the best possible rating of 100 in the foundation’s 2024 Healthcare Equality Index.

“One of the overarching goals of our 10-year strategic plan is cultivating healthy communities and belonging for all, and this honor from the Human Rights Campaign highlights our ongoing commitment to building that sense of belonging,” Wendy Horton, chief executive officer of UVA Health University Medical Center, said. “We want everyone in the communities we serve, as well as all of our team members, to feel supported and included.”

The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights organization for the LGBTQ+ community, evaluates hospitals on how their policies and practices support inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. Hospitals are rated in four categories:

  • policies and staff training in LGBTQ+ inclusive, patient-centered care;
  • LGBTQ+ patient services and support;
  • employee benefits and policies; and
  • patient and community engagement.

“Our team continues to make progress in making the health system a welcoming place for everyone, whether they are providing care, receiving care or visiting a loved one,” Dr. Tracy M. Downs, UVA Health’s chief diversity & community engagement officer, said. “We will continue to seek ways to ensure everyone feels that sense of welcome and belonging at UVA Health.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.