Augusta University Health recognized for dedication to LGBTQ health care equality

Hand with rainbow heart
Augusta University Medical Center has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for equity and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, guests and employees.

Augusta University Health has once again been named a national top performer for its dedication and commitment to LGBTQ equality in patient care.

Augusta University Medical Center received the designation in the 2020 Healthcare Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s benchmarking tool that reviews health care facility policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, guests and employees.

“The LGBTQ community has historically struggled to access equitable health care, and their concerns continue after the recent revisions to the Affordable Care Act’s primary anti-discrimination provision. We strive to make our facilities welcoming and healing places for all,” said Julie Moretz, chief experience officer and associate vice president of Patient- and Family-Centered Care for Augusta University Health. “Our staff works diligently to ensure Augusta University Health is an inclusive environment for LGBTQ patients and their loved ones.”

Augusta University is home to the award-winning Equality Clinic, Augusta’s first medical facility dedicated to serving the under- and uninsured LGBTQ community. The university also has a host of additional diversity and inclusion resources, such as LGBTQ information officer Dr. Lara Stepleman, who serves as a liaison for these patients.

Launched in 2007, the HEI was created to help health care facilities become more inclusive and sensitive in providing LGBTQ patient-centered care to diminish the fear of discrimination or refusal of care. See the 13th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index.

“The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Written by
Heather Henley

Heather Henley is Director of News and Information at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4706 or

View all articles
Written by Heather Henley

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

graphic that says download jag mobile with icon buttons below that say download on app store and download on google play with a picture of a phone
Students smiling for a photo in front of the James Brown statue downtown.