Geisinger Recognized for Diversity Practices

Members News

Geisinger has earned designation as an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released in May.

Of 1,065 healthcare facilities that participated in the HEI 2024 survey and scoring process, Geisinger is just one of 462 organizations to receive this designation. The recognition speaks to Geisinger’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices and creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for patients, members and employees.

Among several categories, Geisinger scored high for its DEI practices listed below:

  • Bias elimination and welcoming interactions: Geisinger recently established a systemwide policy to address issues related to patient and visitor misconduct. Geisinger’s Office of DEI hosts a monthly education and training session for all staff focused on SAFER, a model that helps guide employees when responding to verbal or physical harassment and discriminatory behavior.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR) sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data: In 2019, Geisinger clinicians started gathering SOGI information in its EHR platform, Epic. This effort has been ongoing to better understand patients’ healthcare needs, address health disparities and provide high-quality care to everyone.
  • Pronouns in EHR: In 2019, Geisinger also started collecting patients’ pronouns in Epic, along with veteran status and other demographic information, which helps clinicians better meet patients’ individual needs.
  • Comprehensive benefits for domestic partners: Geisinger provides medical coverage and other health benefits to domestic partners of benefits-eligible employees, as long as shared residence is proven.
  • Employee resource groups: Geisinger’s officially recognized LGBTQ+ employee resource group Geisinger — People Ready for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality (G-PRIDE) exists to foster a welcoming, caring and inclusive environment for employees of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
  • Community engagement and support: Each year, Geisinger supports, participates in and sponsors several LGBTQ+-related events and initiatives in communities across its service area.

“We’re honored to be acknowledged by the HRC’s HEI for our ongoing commitment to promote inclusivity and equity at Geisinger,” said Kim Drumgo, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “This achievement reminds us of the positive impact we can make together by being champions of humanity and making a difference in the lives of others.”

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 salient for those looking to find LGBTQ+-inclusive care.