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Barnes-Jewish Hospital Recognized as a Leader in Equity and Inclusion for LGBTQ Patients, Visitors and Employees

Hospital earned highest possible score on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

  • September 2, 2020
  • Number of views: 8233

St. Louis, MO – Barnes-Jewish Hospital has earned the highest designation in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index.

Barnes-Jewish is the only non-Veterans Health Administration adult hospital within a 200-mile radius of St. Louis to earn this designation. Organizations designated as “Leaders” by HRC received the maximum score of 100 in each section of the report.

The Equality Index serves as a national benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. The index assesses participants on four criteria:

  • Ensure foundational non-discrimination protection for patients, visitors and staff in patient and staff policies and provide cultural competency training on LGBTQ-inclusion
  • Demonstrate progress toward inclusion on LGBTQ patient care services and support
  • Cultivate an inclusive workplace by providing LGBTQ-inclusive employee policies and benefits
  • Demonstrate engagement with and public commitment to the LGBTQ community

“We strive to create a culture of inclusion and sense of belonging for every person who turns to us for care, or who joins our team to care for others,” said John Lynch, MD, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “Our commitment to serving and supporting the LGBTQ community extends beyond our policies and is a fundamental part of our organization’s mission and values.”

Barnes-Jewish, along with all facilities within BJC HealthCare, are committed to providing inclusive and equitable care to all patients, visitors and employees, including gender and sexual minorities. Below are examples of how Barnes-Jewish works to provide this “leader” level of care and service:

Patients and visitors

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital works in close partnership with Washington University School of Medicine partners to provide an LGBTQ+ friendly health care provider directory. BJC HealthCare’s (Barnes-Jewish’s parent system) electronic medical records system has the ability to capture patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity data like preferred name, pronouns, and organ inventory.
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital has rewritten its policies to be fully gender-inclusive, including a gender-inclusive bed placement policy.
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital has worked with local LGBTQ organizations to develop a supportive transition guideline for its trans and gender-expansive team members.


  • In 2015, BJC HealthCare began offering trans-inclusive benefits to all employees, including gender affirmation treatments and procedures.
  • Employee engagement surveys now include self-identified question on LGBTQ+ status
  • Employees, including nurses and patient access, are trained in and have access to sexual orientation and gender identity data collection and LGBTQ+ health care best practices.
  • SPECTRA, the BJC connection group open to all LGBTQ+ employees and allies has experienced a significant growth and increased involvement and participation in St. Louis Pridefest festivities and other LGBTQ activities and events in the St. Louis region.

“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients,” said HRC President Alphonso David.

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