At UC San Diego Health, we pride ourselves on bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs to deliver the best patient care in a culturally- sensitive environment. In what follows are highlights of some of our recent awards and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of health care.
UC San Diego Health was recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” for the third consecutive year in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2014 report, an annual survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
UC San Diego Health also received the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission’s Business Diversity Award. This award acknowledges a business or corporation for its focus on diversity and inclusion in its organizational philosophy and through its leadership, employment policies, corporate giving and community initiatives.
Projects and Achievements
UC San Diego Health’s Diversity Staff Association
The Diversity Staff Association promotes knowledge about different communities within our employee base. Every spring, the group organizes a diversity celebration at Hillcrest Medical Center. The association also hosts panel discussions with representatives from various community groups to foster understanding.
The LGBTQ Project
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Project is an association created by UC San Diego Health’s LGBTQ Community Working Group of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues. The LGBTQ Project’s objective is to study the cultural climate, gather statistical and anecdotal information, and assess the concerns of the LGBTQ community pertaining to their health care and work environment. This information is used to make recommendations and implement new strategies to create and maintain a welcoming healthcare environment that provides excellent education and training and improves access to comprehensive, high-quality health care services. The LGBTQ Project also works to coordinate major events throughout San Diego County. In addition, the association provides input on matters involving culturally competent care for LGBTQ patients and helps with the submission of materials for UC San Diego Health’s “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” nomination.
To help meet these objectives, the LGBTQ Project focuses on the following:
- Creating standardized, ongoing cultural competency education for UC San Diego Health
- Collaborating with the LGBTQ community to ensure it addresses their concerns
- Gathering data that reflects improvements and deficiencies in serving patients
- Providing sexual and gender identity harassment training to UC San Diego Health staff
- Supporting healthy work environment recommendations and enhancing the process for transition in the workplace for transgender staff and physicians
- Maintaining UC San Diego Health’s HEI leadership designation
Latino Medical Students Association
UC San Diego School of Medicine’s chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association draws its membership from a dedicated group of medical students who are focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities at our school of medicine. Their outreach efforts include a variety of mentoring programs, such as the “Doc 4 a Day” event held each winter. This event teaches middle school and high school students in San Diego County about criteria for acceptance into medical school. The association also organizes and participates in several community health fairs and health education events each year.
UC San Diego Health cares for a diverse population of patients who speak many different languages. To communicate with our patients, UC San Diego Health offers interpreter services, which include five on-site Spanish language interpreters, a 24-hour Language Line, an interpretation phone service with more than 200 languages offered, and a newly launched My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter (MARTTI) program.
Developed by the Language Access Network, MARTTI is a HIPAA-approved, two-way video and audio wireless connection to a skilled medical interpreter who assists with interpretation and language barriers in health care. This new service provides access to interpreters for more than 150 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It allows health care providers to use a 19-inch screen for face-to-face communication.
Participation in Local and National Organizations
To further promote inclusion and a culturally sensitive workplace, we maintain memberships with organizations such as the Philippine Nurses Association of San Diego County, San Diego Black Nurses Association, and San Diego National Association of Hispanic Nurses.