The Value of Inclusion Seals Moffitt’s Role as a Continuing LGBTQ Leader in Healthcare

By Steve Blanchard - August 31, 2020

LaTanya Scott has seen a lot of changes at Moffitt Cancer Center since she started as a post doc in 2008. She’s seen the leadership style of different CEOs and has had a front row seat to the ongoing evolution in the field of research.  But what has her most excited is Moffitt’s values system, especially Inclusion, which she says directly impacts her as a gay woman.

It has also impacted the cancer center’s ongoing ranking as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare per the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year marks the ninth time that Moffitt has been recognized for its ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community.

Latanya Scott, left, and her wife Alicia walk toward the Rainbow Road Church in Iceland.

“Moffitt has always been about being on the cutting edge and putting our patients first,” Scott said. “That remains important and core to our mission. But what’s coming more to the forefront now is making sure everyone is more aware of each other’s unique perspectives and what is ingrained within us, no matter our role. I really love our whole values campaign.”

Moffitt’s values, introduced in 2018, include compassion, drive, excellence and imagination, alongside inclusion.

The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. The index is based on four criteria: non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support employee benefits and policies, patient and community engagement and employment nondiscrimination.

The cancer center again earned a perfect score of 100 on the HEI survey and had many of its own in-house trainings HRC-approved, including its inaugural LGBTQ symposium. In addition, Moffitt’s required training hours increased by 140% in 2020

Being named a leader by the HRC just solidifies that Moffitt is doing the right thing in terms of its diversity measures, said B. Lee Green, Ph.D., vice president of Diversity, Public Relations and Strategic Communications.

portrait of blockquote author

"Our cancer center works so hard to ensure that everyone who needs cancer treatment receives the best care possible."

- B. Lee Green, PhD, vice president of Diversity, Public Relations and Strategic Communications

“I am so proud of this designation because it speaks to the culture of our organization,” Green said. “Our cancer center works so hard to ensure that everyone who needs cancer treatment receives the best care possible.”

Inclusion, Scott points out, certainly envelops the patients at Moffitt.  But it also applies to its team members and Scott does all she can to showcase that. It’s partly why she decided to join the leadership team of Unity@Moffitt, a team member engagement network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied employees.

She hopes that by being more visible she can show fellow team members that Moffitt is a safe place to live openly as your true self, rather than hiding in a closet.

Latanya Scott, left, and her wife, Alicia

“I think it’s influential to have an open and accepting environment,” Scott said. “I’ve been fortunate in my past that it hasn’t been an issue. But my wife hasn’t been so lucky. She’s been subject to discrimination simply because she put a photo of us together on her desk. When she told her boss that it was her girlfriend with her in the picture, she was let go. So a lot of LGBTQ people have a reason to be nervous – but not at Moffitt.”

And patients who happen to be part of the LGBTQ community can focus on their cancer treatment rather than worrying about discrimination. That’s something to celebrate, Green said.

“As we all know, cancer does not care what you look like, where you live, who you worship, the color of your skin or who you love,” Green said. “We live the value of inclusion each and every day.  Individuals faced with a cancer diagnosis should not be concerned about being treated negatively because of their sexual orientation.” 

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