Inclusive Policies and Practices


Because we consider diversity and inclusion a priority, OHSU has developed a number of policies that address equal access for patients and employees. Examples and excerpts from selected policies can be found below:

Patient Policies

Patient’s Rights

OHSU Healthcare subscribes to the Patient's Bill of Rights that guides us in providing culturally sensitive care. A patient of OHSU has the right to: 

  • Receive considerate and respectful care, including consideration of cultural, spiritual and personal variables that influence the perceptions of illness.
  • Receive individualized care that fosters the patient’s comfort and dignity, and is delivered in a setting that is free from abuse, discrimination or harassment based on age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, culture, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, socioeconomic status, marital status, military or reserve status, or any other status protected by law. 

Policy No:   HC-ADM-PRS-P021

Patient Visitation

Patients have the right and authority to designate who may or may not visit, including, but not limited to, a spouse, domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. OHSU Healthcare workforce members will not use the race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability of either the patient (or the patient’s support person ore representative, where appropriate) or the patient’s visitors (including individuals seeking to visit the patient) as a basis for limiting, restricting, or otherwise denying visitation privileges.

An individual who is available to support the patient during their care and may exercise the patient’s visitation rights on patient’s behalf when the patient is unable to do so. Such individual may, but need not be, an individual responsible for making medical decisions on the patient’s behalf. Family means any person(s) who plays a significant role in an individual’s life. OHSU looks to the patient to define his/her family. This may include a person(s) not legally related to the individual, such as non-registered domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others. Solely for the purposes of the visitation policy, the concept of parenthood is to be liberally construed as encompassing legal parents, foster parents, same-sex parents, step-parents, and other persons operating in caretaker roles. When a patient is unable to communicate their wishes and an individual asserts they are the patient’s spouse, domestic partner, person in loco parentis of a minor child, and thus the patient’s representative, their assertion will be accepted without supporting documentation unless there is reasonable cause to doubt their assertion.

Policy No: HC-RI-109-RR

Patient Assistance: Patient Advocate and Chaplaincy Services  

The Patient Advocate is the patient's personal representative or "Ombudsman"; someone to help the patient with concerns, complaints, formal grievances or special requests that they may require.
Chaplaincy Services are provided by OHSU Chaplains. Chaplains seek to provide spiritual care/services for patients of OHSU Hospital and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, disability, ethnic origin or economic status. In addition, Chaplains are available to provide spiritual care/services to patients' families, visitors and hospital personnel upon request. Chaplains cooperate with local clergy in order to meet the needs of their parishioners or faith groups.

Policy No:   HC-ADM-PRS-P016

Interpreter Services, Healthcare

It is the policy of OHSU Healthcare to provide equal access to and equal participation in health care activities for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired, and for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) as governed by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These services are provided at no cost to the patient. The patient who chooses to use his or her own interpreter must sign a waiver. Only those interpreters deemed to be qualified by the Translation and Interpreter Services Department should be used to interpret at OHSU Healthcare. OHSU staff should not ask, suggest or encourage that a patient's friends or family members interpret for a patient except in urgent situations. Doing so may be a violation of the August 30, 2000 Office of Civil Rights Policy Guidance.

Policy No:   HC-ADM-PRS-P008

Employee Policies

Diversity Definition

Diversity at OHSU means creating a community of inclusion. We honor, respect, embrace and value the unique contributions and perspectives of all employees, patients, students, volunteers and our local and global communities.

Diversity includes age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, diversity of thought, ideas and more.

Diversity maximizes our true potential for creativity, innovation, quality patient care, educational excellence and outstanding service.

Policy No:   03-05-030

Business Case for Diversity

Diversity is essential to realize our multifaceted mission and to set the example for integrity, compassion and leadership in healthcare, education, research and community service.
Diversity is fundamental to OHSU's ability to attract and retain top talent, achieve innovation and creativity, flourish in a competitive market, maximize the return on our investment in people, and ensure flexibility to thrive.

Policy No:   03-05-030

Affirmative Action Goals – Employment

OHSU has established an affirmative action plan including goals and procedures for the purpose of increasing the proportion and effective utilization of minorities and women employed in administrative, technical, and faculty positions in programs and departments where minorities or women are under represented.

For purposes of this policy, "minorities" refers to Black African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian/Pacific-Island Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives.

Policy No:   03-05-025

Equal Opportunity

OHSU provides equal opportunities to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military service, or any other status protected by law. This policy applies to all employment, education, volunteer, and patient care related activities.

Policy No:   03-05-030


Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, participating in a Civil Rights complaint, use of the Worker's Compensation system, use of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act or the Oregon Medical Leave Act, or any other prohibited basis in law is unlawful and is strictly prohibited at OHSU. OHSU administration, faculty, staff, volunteers, and students are responsible for maintaining an environment for work, study, and the provision of services free from harassment.

Policy No:   03-05-032

Physical Access Committee

The Physical Access Committee is charged with identifying barriers to access by people with disabilities at OHSU and to present findings and recommendations to OHSU's administration concerning access needs and priorities for meeting those needs.

Policy No:   08-01-006