HSS Earns “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation from Human Rights Campaign Foundation
For the eighth consecutive year, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has earned the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization in the United States. The designation was awarded in the 15th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors, and employees. HSS is among the top 10% of Leaders in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality that have received this designation consecutively for eight years.
“We’re honored to receive this recognition as it is a testament to our steadfast commitment in diversity and inclusion and unwavering support of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, HSS surgeon-in-chief and medical director. “At HSS, we remain driven by our core values, which include fostering an environment of respect, equitable treatment, and opportunity for all of our patients, their families, and employees.”
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) leads the adoption of initiatives, behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enhance cultural humility and inclusion at HSS, and is actively devoted to advancing awareness, training and education and implementing best practices throughout the organization.
“Beyond our promise to deliver patient-centered care to the LGBTQ+ community in a safe, healing, and welcoming environment, HSS is committed to identifying and addressing health disparities that affect vulnerable populations,” said Stephen C. Haskins, MD, anesthesiologist and chief medical diversity officer at HSS. “As leaders in healthcare and in our communities, we strive to assess gaps in practice, education, and training to continually improve health equity, equality, and access for all.”
Through the Office of DEI, HSS has established a hospital-wide LGBTQ+ Committee that evaluates and promotes policies and practices, education, and communications that will contribute to a high-quality healthcare experience for LGBTQ+ patients and is consistent with HSS’ commitment to excellence. The Committee plans and implements appropriate education interventions, guidelines and policies for HSS staff, including mandatory LGBTQ+ sensitivity trainings each year and the integration of preferred name, pronouns, gender identity and sexual orientation data collection into the electronic medical record.
“The Human Rights Equality Index is the industry standard for measuring patient services and support, training, employee policies and patient and community engagement to promote LGBTQ+ equality,” Jillian A. Rose-Smith, PhD, MPH, LCSW, assistant vice president, community engagement, diversity and research at HSS. “We are proud to partner with the LGBTQ+ community to continue to enhance our own awareness of best practice knowledge and interventions that helps us better optimize care outcomes for our patients and their loved ones.”
As part of ongoing DEI efforts, HSS recently launched an Employee Resource Group (ERG) program to elevate employee voices and create safe spaces for different affinity groups. The ERGs will support employee wellness and the ideation of DEI initiatives.
For the past four years, HSS has been a proud sponsor of the NYC Pride March, highlighting its commitment to caring for and supporting LGBTQ+ patients and HSS employees.
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 14th consecutive year), No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2023-2024), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2023-2024). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a fourth consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. In addition, more than 200 HSS clinical investigators are working to improve patient outcomes through better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat orthopedic, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 165 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally. www.hss.edu.