194500 Disaster Personnel and Diverse Populations: Attitudes, Education, and Outcomes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW , Office of the Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Rockville, MD
Ann S. Kenny, MPH, BSN, RN , Global Health Sector, SRA International, Inc., Fairfax, VA
With our nation's growing diversity and increasing health disparities among racial and ethnic populations, culturally competent care has evolved as one strategy to reduce health disparities. Evidence indicates that minorities suffer disproportionately at every stage of a disaster, and recent tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina, September 11th, and the California wildfires and their aftermaths have illustrated the importance for disaster response personnel to improve cross-cultural communication skills. In an effort to reduce disaster associated disparities, HHS' Office of Minority Health launched the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response (CCC-DPCR) initiative to ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate services are implemented at every phase of disaster. The CCC-DPCR is an online continuing education curriculum designed to equip disaster personnel with the knowledge, awareness and skills needed to provide emergency health services to racially and ethnically diverse populations during times of disaster. The curriculum development process includes: convening of a National Project Advisory Committee (NPAC); development of an Environmental Scan; topical commission papers; a Consensus-Building meeting; needs assessment focus groups; pilot and field testing with stakeholder groups; and ongoing input from the NPAC subject matter experts. The findings from this rigorous development process will be presented, and the CCC-DPCR's impact on the attitudes of disaster personnel towards serving diverse populations will be evaluated using data from focus groups. Preliminary results indicate strong interest in this training. Ultimately, the program will educate disaster personnel in cultural competency and help mitigate racial and ethnic disparities in emergency and disaster response.

Learning Objectives:
Define cultural competency. Explain the rationale for cultural competency training in disaster preparedness and crisis response. List the findings, contributions, and limitations of needs assessment focus groups, and pilot and field testing as they relate to the development of the framework for a curriculum for health disparities in disaster preparedness and crisis response.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Guadalupe Pacheco serves as a Public Health Advisor and Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has occupied mid-level and senior level management positions in State and Federal government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations, focusing on health and human services program and policy issues. In his current capacity as Special Assistant to the Director for Minority Health, Mr. Pacheco is responsible for managing multiple projects that address health disparities of racial and ethnic minority communities. He staffs cultural competency activities through the Office of Minority Health’s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care. Additionally, he staffs and coordinates initiatives and program activities that enhance service delivery to Hispanic Americans. Mr. Pacheco received his B.A. and M.S.W. from California State University of Fresno.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.