Grady, Emory hospitals among best for the gays

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Just seven hospitals in Georgia – including Grady and Emory – notched perfect scores for caring for LGBT patients, their families and staff in a new report from HRC.

The national gay rights group released the expanded HealthCare Equality Index on Wednesday, grading more than 1,500 hospitals across the U.S. on four criteria – whether they offer LGBT-inclusive patient non-discrimination policies, documented LGBT-inclusive visitation policies, protections for LGBT employees and training for staff on LGBT patients.

Grady, like it did in 2012, received a perfect score and Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality designation from HRC.

“To again earn the coveted status of a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality affirms that Grady has been and continues to be true to its mission of providing the highest quality care and level of service to all who enter our doors,” John Haupert, Grady Health System's gay president and CEO, says in a statement.

But Grady Memorial Hospital is among just seven medical facilities in Georgia – all in metro Atlanta – that earned the top designation from HRC: Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Feminist Women's Health Center, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital in Tucker.

HRC reviewed 44 hospitals, medical facilities and services across Georgia. Other pieces of Grady Health System – including its EMS service, Grady Health Foundation, Kirkwood Family Medicine, Ponce de Leon Center and North DeKalb Health Center – fell short in just one of the four main areas that HRC graded (employee training).

But other hospitals across the state, including Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta and Gwinnett Hospital System and Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, scored among the least LGBT-friendly, according to HRC. In September, Georgia Regents University opened the state's first free clinic for LGBT patients. Department of Veterans Affairs' facilities in Augusta and Decatur also ranked poorly.

The report looked at 1,507 facilities across the U.S., a jump from the 407 reviewed in the inaugural report in 2012.

“Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality change the lives of LGBT patients and their families for the better each and every day,” HRC President Chad Griffin says in a press statement. “LGBT people should be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates Grady for their tireless work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients.”

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