Monday, July 28, 2008

Triangle Foundation Applauds Spectrum Health Apology

Grand Rapids – Triangle Foundation applauds Spectrum Health’s response to the anti-gay discrimination Ashleigh Haberman and Erica Schaub received last month at Spectrum’s South Pavilion Urgent Care facility.

In a letter to the couple, Spectrum Health has issued an apology and an assurance that the behavior of the offending doctor “has been addressed and that appropriate actions have been taken.” “We were glad to hear Spectrum Health has taken this incident seriously. Our goal has always been to raise awareness within the healthcare system so that another couple will not have to experience what Ashleigh and I went through,” states Erica Schaub.

In meetings both with Triangle Foundation as well as with the City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission, Spectrum Health has reiterated its commitment to serving the needs of ALL families in our diverse Grand Rapids community and to specifically serving the needs of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. Triangle Foundation remains available to partner with Spectrum Health by providing professional training to the staff and physicians. A medical staff informed about these issues helps fulfill Spectrum’s continued commitment to patient dignity.

Triangle Foundation challenges Spectrum Health to implement processes that assure Spectrum’s strong anti-discrimination policies are in place at every point of patient contact -- including the many medical professionals who are not directly employed by Spectrum but contract health care services for the hospital.

Triangle Foundation thanks the City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission for their attention to this case. One of the functions of the Community Relations Commission (CRC) is to investigate complaints of discrimination for the purpose of “insuring the fair and equitable treatment and availability of services to all Grand Rapids citizens, which enables them to be valued for their supreme worth.” The CRC reports directly to the Mayor and the City Commissioners.

It is the mission of Triangle Foundation to promote equality and to secure freedom from violence, intimidation and discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons throughout Michigan. Triangle Foundation takes healthcare discrimination very seriously. If you have been the victim of anti-LGBT discrimination by your healthcare provider, please contact Triangle Foundation at info@tri.org or 877-787-4264.

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