Bizz Glover is a clinical risk manager in the Department of Patient Safety & Risk Management and co-chair of UVA Health’s LGBTQ & Transgender Advisory Committee with David Repaske, MD. She also recently earned the Certified Professional in Health Care Risk Management certification. You can find Bizz advising team members on patient situations that may create risks for team members and the Medical Center. She sits on several workgroups, and she is currently working on the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equity Index (HEI), which evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors, and team members.
UVA Health recently had a chance to talk with Bizz about her role in making UVA Health a safe place for those in the LGBTQ+ community. Here is what she had to say.
Q: How did you get involved with the LGBTQ & Transgender Advisory Committee?
A: Bush Bell, Administrator, Hospitality and Support Services, did an outstanding job co-chairing this committee. I admired his leadership as an ally, so was honored when approached to succeed him in this role. It was important to have one of the chairs come from the LGBTQ+ community. I recognize the work that UVA Medical Center has done to care for patients who identify as LGBTQ+, and I am energized by the opportunities for improvement through caring for our patients, visitors, and team members who identify as LGBTQ+.
Q: What is the advisory committee, and what do they do?
A: The advisory committee makes recommendations to the greater Medical Center community for ways to be inclusive in the care we provide our LGBTQ+ patients, with a focus on the transgender population. We advocate for inclusivity and equitable access to health care for all LGBTQ+ patients.
We also focus on meeting the Healthcare Equality Index criteria biennially. The application window opened Monday, June 26, so members of the advisory committee are busy preparing for our institutional submission. UVA Health University Medical Center has repeatedly earned the highest score of 100 as have UVA Health Haymarket Medical Center and UVA Health Prince William Medical Center. Because of recurrent high scores, all three are considered Equality Leaders.
Q: What challenges do the members of the LGBTQ+ community have regarding health care?
A: I see several challenges that patients face regarding accessing and receiving adequate health care. Individuals in the LGBTQ+ community face higher rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. There can be inadequate insurance coverage for transgender patients and difficulties accessing reproductive health services. A lack of cultural competence on the part of the clinical team may result in misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, or a lack of appropriate preventative care. Facing discrimination and stigma can result in a reluctance to seek care or disclose sexual orientation or gender identity.
Q: What changes or efforts has UVA Health made to better support the LGBTQ+ community?
A: UVA Health leadership has been unequivocal in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, inclusive of patients, team members, students, and visitors. This is supported by our non-discrimination policies that identify protected classes, including sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. As we continuously update policies and procedures, UVA Health has been intentional at looking through a lens of inclusivity to be more gender-neutral in language and ensure policies and procedures align with our Mission and Values.
Some specific examples of how we have focused on improving support of our LGBTQ+ community:
- All team members are required to complete the computer-based learning module “Delivering Compassionate Care to Patients who are LGBTQ+.”
- Annual Retraining includes an abbreviated reminder of the expectation to treat all patients and visitors with compassion and respect with a brief review of the relevance of sexual orientation and gender identity as they relate to a patient’s health care.
- Created clinical documentation form for capturing gender identity and sexual orientation in patients’ electronic medical records (Epic) to assist with their health care.
- Published websites that specifically address LGBTQ+ health care services, gender health services, mental health, and billing resources.
- Breastfeeding rooms have been relabeled as lactation rooms to be gender inclusive.
- Facilities is currently updating existing restroom areas to include gender neutral bathrooms.
- Health System policy supports using preferred names on badge IDs.
- Team members have represented UVA Health at the Cville Pride fest, Charlottesville’s annual celebration of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion.
- Advocate for health insurance coverage for gender-affirming care of team members (Aetna has updated the UVA Health Plan to allow for reversal of gender affirming surgery, if a patient meets applicable requirements. Also, following efforts by a group of UVA law students, 12 gender-affirming procedures were added by Aetna for the student health plan. The LGBTQ Committee and its UVA Health representatives have asked HR to add the same 12 procedures to the health plan for faculty and staff as well).
The LGBTQ & Transgender Advisory Committee has achieved these successes:
- Created “ displaying the progress pride flag for clinics, departments, and providers to show support of our LGBTQ+ community.
- Spearheaded a project that allows patients to upload photos of themselves into Epic as our transgender patients’ appearances may change more rapidly than their photos are updated.
- Created a LGBTQ+-themed logo for UVA Health in cooperation with the Marketing & Communications department and brand leaders to display support of the LGBTQ+ population.
- Consistently promote training from the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and the Center for Affiliated Learning to UVA Health team members.
- Sponsoring the first-ever UVA Health Pride Month Celebration with the Office for Diversity & Community Engagement to be held June 30.
- Increased promotion of LGBTQ+-specific clinical services, including HIV/AIDS services and transgender services through web and print materials.
- Supported the Outpatient Surgery Clinic’s Respectful Care to the Transgender Population pilot
- Handed out to team members on International Pronouns Day.
- Increased LGBTQ+ content and images in UVA Health media.
- Enabled pronoun feature in the Webex platform with Health Information Technology.
- Launched a Pride Month-themed Webex background with Marketing & Communications that team members can use to show support of LGBTQ+ during meetings and telemedicine visits.
Q: What additional steps would you like to see UVA Health take towards being more inclusive and equitable?
A: I would like to see every clinic manager and every leader enroll their department in Safe Space Training, which is offered through a partnership between the Patient Experience Office and Dr. Catherine Casey. Safe Space Training is a one-hour interactive, in-person training opportunity that includes a discussion of LGBTQ+ terminology and allyship and clinical recommendations for best practices for team members and health care institutions.
Q: What else should we know?
A: That the work we do is purely collaborative and highly inspirational. We have made great strides, and there is still progress to be made. Many of the initiatives we undertake are born out of feedback from patients and team members, so please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, suggestions, curiosity, and advocacy support to help UVA remain a leader in providing outstanding care to our LGBTQ+ patients.
Article by Amy Hughes.
Filed Under: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion