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ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL • COLUMBUS, NC • (828) 894-3311

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Nondiscrimination Policy

St. Luke's Healthcare, Inc. and St. Luke's Hospital, Inc. (SLH) does not discriminate inpatient admissions, room assignment, patient services, or employment on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. If assistance or communication aids for impaired hearing, vision, speech, or manual skills are needed, SLH will make reasonable accommodations.

Purpose: To define the organization's policy regarding nondiscrimination.

Standard: In furtherance of our nation's commitment to end discrimination, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues pursuant to the Acts, Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 80, 84, and 91, and all other nondiscriminatory acts protecting the rights of the disabled and other individuals or groups, SLH has established the following policy.

Policy Statement: As a recipient of federal financial assistance, SLH does not exclude from participation, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits of any of its programs and activities or in employment therein, whether carried out by SLH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with whom SLH arranges to carry out its programs and activities. SLH does not discriminate inpatient admissions, room assignments, patient services, or hiring on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Communication of Policy: SLH's notice of nondiscrimination is communicated to all participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons via multiple methods, including but not limited to the following: The notice is placed on the hospital's bulletin boards, is posted in public registration areas, and is posted on the SLH's web page.

Communication with Sensory or Speech Impaired Individuals SLH assures that all individuals are able to receive effective notices, including nondiscrimination and notices concerning benefits or services or information concerning waivers of rights or consent to treatment, regardless of their disability. (See Interpreters & Communication Enhancements policy # 00-0104)

Complaint Process: SLH has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations (45 C.F.R. Part 84), implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended (29 U.S.C. 794). Section 504 states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified disabled individual...shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance...". The CEO, 101 Hospital Drive, Columbus, NC 28722, Phone (828) 894-3311, has been designated to coordinate the efforts of SLH to comply with the regulations. The hospital Corporate Compliance Officer serves as the Section 504 Coordinator.

1. A complaint should be in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the discriminatory act.

2. A complaint should be filed in the office of the Corporate Compliance Officer within 30 days after the person filing the complaint becomes aware of the alleged discriminatory act.

3. The CEO, or designee, will investigate the complaint. The investigation will be informal but thorough, affording all interested persons and their representatives an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.

4. The CEO shall issue a written decision determining the validity of the complaint no later than 30 days after its filing.

5. The Corporate Compliance Officer shall maintain the files and records relating to all complaints filed. The Corporate Compliance Officer may assist persons with the preparations and filing of complaints, and advise the Chief Executive Officer concerning their resolution.

6. These rules shall be liberally construed to protect the substantial rights of interested persons to meeting appropriate due process standards and assure SLH's compliance with Section 504 and the regulations.

In case of questions regarding this policy, or in the event of a desire to file a complaint alleging violations of the above, contact:

St. Luke's Hospital
Phone: (828) 894-3311
Michelle Fortune, CEO
101 Hospital Drive
Columbus, NC 28722

An individual who files a complaint may pursue other remedies including filing with:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Phone: (816) 426-7278
Fax: (816) 426-3638
TDD:(816) 426-7065
601 East 12 Street, Room 248
Kansas City, Missouri 64106