In January 2018, Partners in Care, VNSNY’s licensed home care services agency, was awarded Platinum-level certification from SAGE, an organization that provides services and advocacy for LGBT elders. This is SAGE’s highest award, indicating that 80 percent or more of Partners in Care’s home health aides (HHAs), nurses, and other staff have received SAGECare LGBT cultural competency training.
Since the launch of Partners in Care’s SAGECare educational initiative in 2017, all of its nearly 9,000 HHAs have attended specialized training sessions designed to raise their awareness of cultural issues and sensitivities around sexual orientation and gender identification. The training program, based on a curriculum developed by the SAGE organization, covers topics such as confidentiality, the need to avoid making assumptions about a client’s partnership or marital status, an overview of LGBT history, and the use of gender-appropriate terminology with transgender patients and clients.
“This credential means that our LGBTQ clients can be assured they’ll be treated with understanding and respect by every member of our staff,” says Barbara Maccaro, Director of Quality Assurance and Education at Partners in Care. “We want the LGBTQ community to know that VNSNY is their trusted ally, and SAGECare certification is an important part of that process.”
With this credential, Partners in Care joined VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care and VNSNY Home Care, which were awarded SAGECare Platinum certification in 2017. VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans received Platinum-level certification in September of 2018, making every VNSNY division SAGE-credentialed at the Platinum level and further establishing VNSNY as a preferred health care provider for New York City’s 750,000 LGBTQ+ residents.
“We’re proud to be one of the few home care organizations in the New York City area to have provided LGBTQ training across our workforce,” notes Jennifer Brullo, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services. “Our goal is always to provide the very highest quality of care to our customers. With this training, our diverse patient and client population can be confident they’ll be treated with understanding, sensitivity, and respect by all of our Partners in Care home health aides, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
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