Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital has been designated an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the seventh consecutive year that the hospital has been named a leader in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). Truman VA is the only hospital in central Missouri, as well as one of only 11 hospitals in the state and 495 nationwide, to earn the equality leader designation in 2020.
The HEI is a measure of hospital policies and practices designed to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) inclusion ― both for patients and employees. The four main elements that facilities are evaluated on include non-discrimination and staff training; services and support for LGBTQ patients; employee benefits and policies; and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Facilities that scored the maximum of 100 points are designated leaders. Hospitals that scored between 80 and 95 points are considered top performers.
“I am very proud of my team and their dedication to all our Veterans,” said Patricia Hall, PhD, FACHE, director of Truman VA. “We are committed to providing excellent health services for our nation’s heroes. Part of that commitment is to ensure that everyone receives their care in a place that is safe, welcoming and respectful.”
One of Truman VA’s most impactful equality initiatives is the Safe Zone Program. The program promotes awareness, respect and support of LGBTQ Veteran patients and their families, hospital guests, and VA employees. The program is led by Truman VA’s LGBTQ Veteran Care Coordinator, Beth Hager-Harrison-Prado, LCSW.
“More than one million Veterans who served our country with honor identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” said Hager-Harrison-Prado, a U.S. Navy Veteran who served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will. “I am proud that our leadership and health system are committed to equality and excellence. Being an HEI leader means that we provide the highest quality of care for LGBTQ Veterans, and we do that because it's the right thing to do.”