For the second consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign has cited Howard University Hospital -- one of the nation's leading teaching medical institutions -- a leader in the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who was joined at a press conference earlier this week by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, made announced on Howard's campus, where other local health care organizations were also lauded.
"I commend the LGBT and healthcare communities for the progress made, and I am proud to be part of an administration that has a historic record of accomplishment for the LGBT community," Sebelius said.
The other area health care leaders include George Washington Hospital, Sibley Hospital, National Rehabilitation Hospital, The Specialty Hospital of Washington, Adventist Healthcare and Bon Secours Health System.
Howard was among 234 hospitals named as leaders from the nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide. The number of leaders with perfect scores increased from the previous year, but not one hospital in 18 states responded at all to the survey.
The index rated the hospitals in four areas.
The hospital's patient non-discrimination policy is publicly available and includes the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
The hospital's visitation policy explicitly grants same sex couples, partners, spouses and significant others the same access as different-sex couples and grants their minor children the same access as children of different-sex couples.
The hospital's employment non-discrimination policy includes the term" sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
The hospital provides training for key staff members in LGBT patient-centered care.
Dr. Wayne Frederick, provost and chief academic officer for Howard University and formerly senior vice president for Health Sciences, accepted the honor on behalf of the university and said the hospital is proud to be designated as a leader.
"Howard University Health Sciences is committed to improving patient-centered care by removing all barriers to care, whether they involve ensuring patients' rights to determine their health care decision-maker, or training the health care workforce to provide equitable treatment and service to all patients," Frederick said.