Report: Not all Mid-Missouri hospitals are LGBT inclusive

Originally posted by KOMU News 8
By: Colleen Menadier

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 9.14.12 PMColumbia, Missouri – Members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community are twice as likely to not receive needed medical care or surgery, according to the Missouri Foundation for Health and PROMO.

A report indicates some are afraid to seek help due to possible discrimination.

According to the Missouri Foundation for Health, 13 percent of older LGBT adults reported they were denied health care or provided inferior care because of their sexual orientation.

PROMO, a statewide organization that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality, researched and provided an in-depth map for LGBT-inclusive hospitals across Missouri. Hospital inclusiveness scores are based on a four-point scale including LGBT employee protections, LGBT patient centered care training, patient protections and visitation rights. A higher score indicates a more inclusive hospital.

One of the Boone County hospitals that has a perfect score for LGBT inclusiveness is the Harry S. Truman Veteran’s Hospital.

Stephen Gaither of the VA hospital said the hospital values being LGBT inclusive for employees and patients.

“We are embracing the diversity of folks that work here and the folks that we serve,” Gaither said.

The VA hospital did not always have a perfect score. Last year, the hospital failed in the training aspect of the scale. Gaither said after receiving the score, the hospital provided training for its employees in order to achieve the perfect score for inclusivity.

More hospitals failed the inclusiveness scale in Mid-Missouri than passed. In Boone County, two out of six hospitals received a score of 3 or 4 (out of 4), while the remaining hospitals received a score of 0 or 1.

Hospitals with low inclusivity scores in the area would not return KOMU 8 phone calls, so it is unclear if they are taking steps to improve their inclusiveness scores.

To learn more on specific parts of the inclusive scale and LGBT rights, click here.

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