Cooley Dickinson Earns ‘Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality’ Designation

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital has been recognized as a 2019 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil-rights organization. Cooley Dickinson is the only hospital in Western Mass. and one of only seven hospitals in the Commonwealth to earn this designation.

“This designation affirms Cooley Dickinson’s commitment to providing equitable, inclusive, and affirming care for LGBTQ patients and their families,” said Cooley Dickinson Health Care President and CEO Joanne Marqusee. “We are proud to receive — for the third consecutive year — this honor and to continue our efforts to ensure that our local LGBTQ community has access to respectful, appropriate care.”

Marqusee added that “we are also proud that our parent organization and clinical partner, Massachusetts General Hospital, was one of the other six Massachusetts hospitals to receive this recognition. Together, we are committed to providing the best care for the LBGTQ communities across the state and to being inclusive, affirming places to work.”

Cooley Dickinson’s focus on improving care for the LGBTQ community has been a high priority for the last five years and is part of its broader efforts related to diversity, inclusion, and health equity.

As examples of recent initiatives that demonstrate Cooley Dickinson’s commitment to equitable and inclusive care for the LGBTQ community, it has recruited and trained clinicians who specialize in the care of LGBTQ people; implemented changes to electronic medical records that facilitate the use of the patient’s preferred gender, name, and pronouns; and collaborated with local gender-diverse community members, the Fenway Institute, and researchers from Harvard Medical School on the PATH (Plan and Act for Transgender Health) Project, a study that will inform the expansion of gender-affirming health services in Western Mass. In addition, a Positive Place, in partnership with Cooley Dickinson’s clinical leader for its LGBTQ program, now offers short-term health navigation to transgender patients most in need of prevention support.