Crouse Health Earns “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” Designation in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

Crouse Health has received “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 16th iteration of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) just released. A record 1,065 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process. Of those, 462 received the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” designation.

“To further support our mission to provide the best in patient care and promote community health, the work of diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEI&B) has never been more important and hardwiring DEI&B across the organization is our priority. As a leading healthcare employer in Central New York, it is critical for Crouse Health to strategically focus on addressing the health equity gap, equitable care, cultural patient experiences and assist the organization in prioritizing the creation of a more equitable and inclusive work environment,” says Seth Kronenberg, MD, Crouse Health President and CEO.

“We continue to be enthused about our participation in the HRC’s Healthcare Index Equality process as it provides a roadmap that helps to further hardwire our DEI&B efforts across the organization and celebrate our growth, going from our 2019 status to becoming a High Performer in 2024. Our goal is to reach the Leader status. We work hard to ensure that our culture of belonging strengthens our ability to meet and provide meaningful care and support to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LBGTQ+) patients, families, and employees. We look forward to continuing our efforts and collaborating with our LGBTQ+ vendors, patients, employees and community,” says Dr. Twiggy Eure, Director of DEI&B at Crouse.

This year’s HEI comes as LGBTQ+ adults are twice as likely as non-LGBTQ+ adults to be “treated unfairly or with disrespect by a doctor or healthcare provider” in the last three years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The impact of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation combined with a history of discrimination in healthcare settings has the potential to cause even more LGBTQ+ people to delay or avoid seeking healthcare, which makes the HEI even more meaningful for those looking to find LGBTQ+-inclusive care.

About DEI&B at Crouse Health
As the only locally-governed hospital, Crouse Health values diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) among our employees, patients and the families we serve. Our mission calls us to provide the best in patient care. To do so, we need to strengthen our ability to serve our patients.

In 2014, Crouse formed the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, comprised of a small group of employees from multiple areas as way to bring attention to helping Crouse become a more diverse employer and to better serve both the organization and the community with three key goals in mind: To educate the Crouse Health community about the importance and value of DEI&B; increase professional opportunities for Crouse Health employees, with an emphasis on DEI&B, and to increase awareness of the Crouse culture in diverse communities. Today, the committee has grown to 31 members and is led by Dr. Eure.

We believe that DEI&B is much more than just hiring for diversity. It is a deeper, ongoing investment to ensure the practices, processes, policies and programs are in place are equitable, inclusive, and effective at cultivating a greater sense of belonging for all. When diversity, equity, and inclusion are working together, it creates an environment of belonging for all. Through our diverse recruitment efforts, equity work across the hospital, ongoing employee education, and DEI&B partnerships and collaborations, we believe we will continue to make good progress.

In 2023, Crouse expanded its focus with the formation of the DEI&B Community Advisory Board to provide the organization with additional insight and expertise. This board is co-chaired by Dr. Seth Kronenberg and Dr. Melvin Stith and made up of a select group of 20 Syracuse community leaders who serve as a sounding board to help support our work in addressing the health equity gap, equitable care, cultural patient experiences and assist the organization in prioritizing the creation of a more equitable and inclusive work environment.

About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.