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Virginia Mason Pride Graphic

SEATTLE – (March 28, 2018) –Virginia Mason has been named a 2018 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality after receiving a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s  Healthcare Equality Index.

This index is the national benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to equality and inclusion for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patients, visitors and employees. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its 2018 report this week as part of National LGBT Health Awareness Week.

“We are proud to provide respectful and compassionate services to LGBTQ individuals in a welcoming and supportive environment,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “As an organization, we are committed to ensuring everyone has fair and just opportunities to be as healthy as possible.”

As part of its LGBTQ-affirming work, Virginia Mason implemented training modules in LGBTQ patient-centered care for its leaders and other team members to address diversity and inclusion as health issues. The organization has also launched a transgender service line and increased its community engagement. Virginia Mason, for example, partnered with the Seattle Police Department to become an official Safe Place for LGBTQ individuals and others who seek safety from threatening situations.

“We believe the diversity of our team and patients is a strength and that we should provide health care accordingly,” said Charleen Tachibana, RN, senior vice president, Quality and Safety, and chief nursing officer.

A total of 626 health care organizations across the United States participated in the HEI 2018 survey, with 418 of those earning the LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader designation.

In 2015, a Gallup study estimated Seattle’s population includes the fifth-largest percentage of LGBT individuals in the United States (See article from The Seattle Times). 

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; outpatient medical facilities and services in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; 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; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving Yakima Valley in Central Washington since 1950.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509



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