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CLAS standards applied to a community health center setting

Dorcas Grigg-Saito, MSPH1, Sheila Och, MPH2, Evelyne Delori, FNP1, Bonnie Sharpe, RN, BS, MHA3, Sonith Peou4, and Mercy Anampiu1. (1) Lowell Community Health Center, 15-17 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852, 978-746-7851, DorcasGr@lchealth.org, (2) Community Health Promotion, Lowell Community Health Center, 15-17 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852, (3) Family and Women's Health, Lowell Community Health Center, 15-17 Warren St., Lowell, MA 01852, (4) Metta Health Center, Lowell Community Health Center, 135 Jackson Street, Lowell, MA 01852

The 14 National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care, published in 2001 by the federal Office of Minority Health, DHHS, focus on providing accessible, effective health and social services to minority populations of all cultures through culturally competent care, language access services, and organizational supports for cultural competence. These standards were systematically applied to the provision of care at Lowell Community Health Center (LCHC) in Lowell, MA, which has the second largest Cambodian population in the U.S. (approximately 25% of the population of 105,000) as well as Latinos (17%), primarily from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Colombia; African immigrants (7%) from 15 countries; and Portuguese speaking (7%) from Portugal, the Azores, and Brazil. LCHC's patient population reflects a similar diversity. This presentation highlights the process of identifying community needs and health disparities, obtaining community input into program design, instituting a strong bilingual/bicultural staff, developing a Southeast Asian specific health center site integrating western and eastern approaches to medical and behavioral health care, and weaving CLAS Standards into all aspects of primary and preventive care delivery. Recommendations are provided for applying the standards to community health center and other medical settings, including using categorical funding to develop a systems approach to community health promotion; methods for developing critical ethnic organization partnerships; development of a diverse consumer majority Board of Directors and ethnic advisory groups; suggestions for creating a culturally friendly environment; use of a CQI approach to linguistic access; and provision of staff cultural competence training.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Handout (.ppt format, 11697.5 kb)

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