By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com August 05 2010 5:20 PM ET
Administrators of an Indiana hospital involved in a discrimination
complaint said they plan to take action to prevent problems like those faced by a
transgender woman who entered the hospital in July seeking treatment but was
ridiculed and turned away.
Mike Haley, the president and CEO of Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, addressed the reports Wednesday and said the hospital is working with Indiana Equality and the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance to review its policies, employee benefits, and diversity training. Ball Memorial will also implement a diversity council to engage local community members on better serving their needs, according to the statement.
Erin Vaught went to the hospital July 18, but when she tried to submit her information for hospital records, two workers entered her gender as male, despite her identification saying she is female. Vaught said she pointed out that her ID card identifies her as female, to which one worker snickered and the other made an annoyed face. When she was taken to the examination room, hospital staff referred to her as "he-she," "it," and a "transvestite." Two hours passed before she saw a doctor, who then said he couldn't treat her because she is transgender.