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Leading Hospital Accrediting Organization To Explore LGBT Concerns
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- November 13, 2008 -- The Joint Commission has appointed Joel Ginsberg, Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), to serve on a new Expert Advisory Panel on Developing Hospital Standards for Culturally Competent Patient-Centered Care.
Formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, or JCAHO, the Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 15,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.
This is another victory in our fight to ensure equality in healthcare for LGBT people, said Ginsberg. Weve seen a lot of progress in recent years, he said, referring to his organizations work with the American Medical Association, Aetna, and others. The Joint Commission has tremendous influence. Its decision to address the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients has the potential to affect millions of people.
The new panel will make recommendations regarding many facets of hospital operations, including leadership, quality improvement and data use, workforce, provision of care, patient needs, patient-provider communications, and community engagement.
GLMA is also working to improve hospital treatment of LGBT patients and employees through the Healthcare Equality Index, a national survey which it conducts in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
A key issue is ending discriminatory hospital visitation policies, to prevent future cases like that of Janice Langbehn, Ginsberg said. In 2007, Janice Langbehn of Olympia, Washington was barred from visiting her partner of 18 years who had been admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, after being told that she was in an anti-gay city and state.
During his campaign, President-Elect Obama referenced the importance of nondiscriminatory hospital visitation policies.
The Advisory Panel has its first meeting on Monday, November 17.
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