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Eight Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Hospitals Recognized in 2024 Healthcare Equality Index

May 17, 2024

All VMFH Hospitals and Medical Centers Named “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performers” for strong commitment and support of patients, team members

2024 LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH) has been recognized in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2024 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) with all eligible VMFH hospitals and medical centers named an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer.”

The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of health care facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.

“As a mission-driven organization founded to provide care for all, providing safe, welcoming and knowledgeable care for LGBTQ+ patients and supporting our LGBTQ+ team members are important priorities,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and president of CommonSpirit Health's Northwest Region. “Our LGBTQ+ friends, family and community members have long faced barriers to accessing health care that persist today. This recognition from HEI is a testament to the dedication of our compassionate care teams, who are committed to helping make sure that our patients feel welcome, heard, and safe in our care sites every day.”

The HEI evaluates and scores health care facilities on detailed criteria falling under five central pillars:

  • Non-discrimination and Staff Training
  • Patient Services and Support
  • Employee Benefits and Policies
  • Patient and Community Engagement
  • Responsible Citizenship

In the 2024 report, a record 1,065 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. LGBTQ+ patients have historically faced significant and long-standing challenges to accessing the care they need, and VMFH is committed to providing welcoming, compassionate care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families. VMFH hospitals and medical centers recognized include: 

  • St. Anne Hospital, Burien
  • St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor
  • St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood
  • St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw
  • St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way
  • St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma
  • St. Michael Medical Center, Silverdale
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle

As part of the HEI process, each hospital and medical center underwent a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. Across the hospital system, VMFH updated dozens of policies to support LGBTQ+ health care outcomes, expanded training for staff and clinicians, updated patient forms and IT processes to better capture preferred pronouns and solicit feedback from LGBTQ+ patients, and clarified wording in employee benefits to be explicitly inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees–to name just a few examples. 

More information about VMFH’s commitment to LGBTQ+ care can be found here

About Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH) is an integrated health system serving the Puget Sound region, including 10 hospitals and 300 care sites. Founded in 1891, VMFH embraces its long history of caring for the most vulnerable, especially the poor and underserved, and meeting the evolving health care needs of the vibrant, diverse communities it serves. VMFH is a proud home to the Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS, and the Benaroya Research Institute, an internationally recognized institution for autoimmune disease research. VMFH is part of CommonSpirit, one of the nation’s largest health systems, dedicated to advancing health for all people.