Miami VA named Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality - Miami VA Healthcare System
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Miami VA Healthcare System

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Miami VA named Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality

April 6, 2018

For the fifth consecutive year, the Miami VA Healthcare System has received an “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The designation was awarded in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).

“It’s an honor for the Miami VA to receive the HEI designation for the fifth year,” said Paul Russo, director of the Miami VA Healthcare System. “LGBTQ Veterans are among the men and women who answered the call the serve our nation. We are proud to serve them with the dignity and respect they have earned and deserve. All Miami VA facilities across South Florida offer LGBTQ Veterans support in accessing the benefits they earned. It’s our turn to serve them.”

“With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community and we commend them for their leadership. For over a decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every health care facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants are given a numerical score based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.”

In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with a score of 100. Another 95 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care. For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

To learn about the Miami VA LGBT Program, visit For more information about the VA Office of Health Equity, visit