Ball Memorial Hospital Responds to Criticism Over Treatment of Transgender Patient

A few days ago, I wrote about Erin Vaught’s trip to the Ball Memorial Hospital emergency room. Vaught went to the hospital expecting treatment for a lung condition. Instead, she was ridiculed by hospital staff and eventually denied treatment because she’s transgender.

Since the incident, bloggers and organizations have put pressure on Ball Memorial Hospital to ensure that transgender patients be treated respectfully. Bilerico broke the story in an interview with Erin Vaught, the Ball Memorial Hospital Facebook page was flooded with concerned comments, nearly 2,000 emails were sent to the hospital, and Erin’s complaints were followed up by organizations including Indiana Equality and the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance.

Thanks to the work of advocates concerned with Vaught’s treatment, Ball Memorial Hospital has issued a new statement about the incident. The hospital is working with Indiana Equality and Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance to review the hospital’s care policies, employee benefits, and diversity training. The groups are helping the hospital to develop an LGBT awareness training for employees, to improve their awareness of LGBT issues. The training will include information specifically pertaining to the treatment of transgender patients.

Ball Memorial Hospital also plans to implement a Diversity Council with local community members. The Council will be responsible for developing a diversity initiative to help form a culture of respect, trust and engagement.

It looks like Ball Memorial Hospital is taking the steps necessary to ensure that transgender patients will no longer face discriminatory treatment in their hospital. While it certainly doesn’t undo their neglectful treatment of Vaught, it shows promise that future transgender patients will be treated with respect and dignity.

Photo credit: taberandrew