Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is central to our mission of improving the health and wellbeing of each person we serve and providing a workplace where differing backgrounds and perspectives experience a community of mutual respect and collegiality.
Our DEI work is underway, and we know success will take time and an ongoing commitment, yet we want to celebrate milestones along this journey.
Swedish recently received an evaluation of 100 and the designation of LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
“We are extremely proud of this designation as it demonstrates our commitment to care equitably for all patients,” says Mardia A. Shands, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Swedish. “The journey to providing more equitable care will be ongoing, and it starts with practicing cultural competence and humility.”
Swedish’s designation was driven in part by its ongoing work to create a deliberate and inclusive medical environment for Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community, that has taken place over the last two years. In the 2022 report, Swedish’s five hospitals were included in the 496 facilities across the country that earned the Top Performer designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100.
Antonio Foles, Swedish LGBTQI+ CRG co-chair said, “It is incredibly remarkable and affirming to be working for an organization that is proactively taking the steps to make it a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ caregivers, patients, and allies. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed to this recognition, and I look forward to the continued success of this work.”
The Swedish LGBTQI+ Caregiver Resource Group (CRG), the medical center’s voluntary employee resource group that supports LGBTQI+ caregivers, worked diligently with Swedish leadership teams to earn the designation.
According to HRC, “Diverse healthcare facilities across the U.S. are making tremendous strides toward LGBTQ+ patient-centered care. In unprecedented numbers, they are changing key policies, implementing best practices, and training their staff. We heartily applaud all the facilities that participate in the HEI and make a commitment to LGBTQ+ patient-centered care.”