Home Health Madison hospitals implementing policies on patient discriminatory behavior

Madison hospitals implementing policies on patient discriminatory behavior


Hospitals in Madison – including SSM Health, UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter –  are coming together to implement new policies on discriminatory behavior by patients.

“Our diversity is our strength. We stand ready to call out and confront behavior motivated by bigotry. And we are committed to addressing any manifestations of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, prejudice, and intolerance,” said Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO at UW Health, in a press release.

“We stand firmly in support of our staff and providers,” adds SSM Health Wisconsin Regional President Damond Boatwright. “Our health care systems are filled with exceptional caregivers who deserve our respect and dignity.”

SSM Health and UW Health have recently adopted policies that “clearly and unequivocally outline that their organizations will not tolerate discriminatory behavior against their physicians, providers and staff and will not honor patient requests for alternate caregivers that are rooted in bigotry,” the hospitals said today, adding that UnityPoint Health – Meriter is in the process of adopting a similar policy.

“As health care organizations, SSM Health, UnityPoint Health – Meriter and UW Health have a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” the hospitals said in Thursday’s press release. “We do not tolerate racism, bigotry or discrimination directed to our patients or visitors. We also believe our caregivers should be treated with the same dignity and respect by our patients and visitors.

“Please know that our commitment to providing care to all who need it remains the same and our organizations will continue to follow all elements of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA),” they added. “All hospitals strive to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care.”

Sue Erickson, president and CEO at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, said that her organization has been working on a number of initiatives to “become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for our patients and community” and that “this same support must be afforded to our caregivers.”