Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has been recognized as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader, once again receiving a maximum overall score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on its 2022 Healthcare Equity Index (HEI).
This marks the ninth consecutive time MSK is receiving this honor.
HEI is the national benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare institutions’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and employees. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey.
“I am so proud that MSK continues to be recognized as a leader in providing an equitable and inclusive environment for our LGBTQ+ patients, families, visitors, and employees,” says Scott Freeswick, Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, and executive sponsor of MSK’s LGBTQ+ Pride Employee Resource Network (ERN). “It reflects the environment we foster and the thoughtful, quality healthcare we provide. I am honored to be part of an organization that promotes this culture.”
There are many ways MSK continues demonstrating its commitment to reducing disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ people and encouraging its employees to bring their authentic selves to work.
One recent example: MSK launched its sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) program in 2021, which invited new adult patients to voluntarily self-identify, capturing this information in their confidential and secure electronic medical records. This year, the program expanded to include staff. Employees may voluntarily share their SOGI details, including pronouns, in their employee profiles.
“This recognition is another reason to be proud to work at MSK,” says Anthony DeMaio, Senior Physician Relations Liaison and co-leader of MSK’s LGBTQ+ Pride ERN. “Our employees embrace diversity, while leaders from across MSK role-model the values of health equity and inclusion. This honor will further inspire us to remain at the forefront of change and make even greater strides for the LGBTQ+ community.”
HEI scores healthcare institutions on four criteria: (1) foundational nondiscrimination policies and protection for patients, visitors, and staff as well as training on LGBTQ+ inclusion; (2) inclusive LGBTQ+ patient care services and support; (3) an inclusive workplace, achieved by providing LGBTQ+-inclusive employee policies and benefits; and (4) demonstrated engagement with and public commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.