Christiana Care Health System’s Christiana and Wilmington hospitals were designated a 2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, receiving a perfect score on the national Healthcare Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational branch a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.

This year is the sixth consecutive year Christiana Care’s hospitals have received the honor. Christiana and Wilmington hospitals were among a select group of 302 health care facilities in the nation — and the only two hospitals in Delaware — to earn leader status.

HEI participants were given scores in four criteria — foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, employee benefits and policies and LGBTQ patient and community engagement — that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented.

Participants receiving the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of 2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.

Among the achievements that helped earn 2017 leader status:

— Provided transgender health benefits to employees and their dependents. Christiana Care is the only health system in Delaware to do so.

— Added the web page, “LGBTQ Health Initiatives,” to christianacare.org so the LGBTQ community can readily find information about LGBTQ services at Christiana Care and in the community, and to locate LGBTQ-friendly health care providers, as well as other useful resources.

— Created “Transgender Care Guidelines and Resources” best practice tips and guidelines document to help clinicians, providers and other staff to provide respectful care to transgender patients and their families.

— Produced an “It Gets Better” video as a community outreach tool to help prevent suicide for at-risk LGBTQ adolescents and young adults.

In 2015, the health system formed an LGBTQ Patient-Family Advisory Group that includes people from the community and employees. These advisers help Christiana Care identify unmet needs and work to continually improve quality and provide relevant services.

The HRC Foundation works to achieve equality for LGBTQ people. For information, visit hrc.org/hei and christianacare.org.