At Atlantic Health System, we strive for an inclusive health care environment where patients, visitors and employees are welcomed and afforded the same treatment regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic background, disability and age.
We not only value diversity, but we are also committed to inclusivity – the practice of engaging with diverse populations when making decisions that affect the health and well-being of our communities. Atlantic Health System organizes diverse workgroups of community representatives at each hospital location to develop and implement programs that address the specific health care needs of our surrounding populations. Learn more by reading our Community Benefit Reports >
Within our hospitals, some of the programs and policies we have implemented include:
- Establishing support groups and educational classes for vulnerable populations – such as people living with HIV and AIDS, and non-English speaking families who are expecting children
- Revising patient visitation policies to allow for more inclusion and respect for all families and visitors
- Expanding pastoral and spiritual care for patients of all faith communities
- Translating “Patient Rights," patient forms and medical records into Spanish and other languages
- Enhancing interpretation of languages other than English through new technologies
- Improving meal services to accommodate diverse dietary and nutritional preferences
Our hospitals also build upon programs championed by our Healing Culture Council. These ongoing initiatives feature events and activities that promote connection, healing, diversity, empowerment and creativity, thereby helping build and sustain community within our walls. Learn more about our commitment to championing a diverse and inclusive workplace >
Commitment to the LGBTQ Community
Atlantic Health System’s commitment to providing LGBTQ patient-centered care has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index named Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center and Goryeb Children's Hospital as Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. This index measures patient non-discrimination, equal visitation rights, employment non-discrimination, and training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
Health Care Rights in The LGBTQ Community
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits most health providers and insurance companies from committing sex discrimination, including anti-transgender discrimination, and discrimination based on race, national origin, age and disability.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects patients’ privacy when it comes to certain health information, including transgender status and transition. It also gives patients the right to access, inspect and copy their protected health information held by hospitals, clinics and health plans.
- State and local nondiscrimination laws prohibit health care discrimination against transgender people in many circumstances. A large number of states also have explicit policies that prohibit private insurance companies and Medicaid from committing anti-transgender discrimination, like excluding transition-related care. See a list of New Jersey State policies and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania state policies. Please view the Health Care Action Center for other state’s policies.
- Medicare and Medicaid regulations protect the rights of hospital patients to choose their own visitors and medical decision-makers regardless of their legal relationship to them. This means that hospitals cannot discriminate against LGBTQ people or their families during visitation or when recognizing a patient’s designated decision-maker.
- Joint Commission hospital accreditation standards require hospitals to have internal policies prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Local and Regional Resources for LGBTQ Youth and Families
- Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
- National GLBT Youth Hotline: 1-800-246-7743
- Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
- Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County
- Garden State Equality
- Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN)