244318 Promoting cultural competence in public health students using organized group projects

Monday, October 31, 2011

Anene E. A. Onyeabo, BSc , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Mercedes J. Proctor , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Nelia Sarmiento, MD , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Yvonne L. Bronner, ScD , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
According to the 2010 census, minorities comprise 35% of the American population thus increasing the need for those trained in public health to be culturally sensitive and competent. In response to this demographic trend, the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) developed a core competency curriculum requiring public health training that will increase knowledge and skill related to cultural competency. The purpose of this presentation is to share a method of increasing cultural competence in public health students by: 1) using group projects to increase understanding of the historical, demographic, and epidemiological context of each minority cultural group; and 2) increasing their knowledge of organizational and financial support at the federal, state, and local levels.The cultural competence module consisted of a didactic review of definitions of culture, literature review, and diversity and culture competencies as stipulated by the ASPH Education Committee. The class was divided into four (4) groups that conducted in-depth studies of the minority cultural groups as categorized by the Census Bureau. Students were required to identify, recruit and motivate community leaders to participate in a panel. Evaluation data were collected using self report and surveys. Results indicated that each culture has their own assets and liabilities as well as institutional/financial support at multiple levels. The most important lesson was derived from the personal stories of the panel participants. Therefore cultural competency curricula should not only stress the acquisition of knowledge of the culture but also require active engagement of students to achieve cultural competency.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe how to organize students into teams to conduct in-depth investigations of minority cultural groups regarding their history, demography, and epidemiology. 2)Identify strategies for effective outreach to cultural groups. 3)Assess the degree to which the cultural competency module achieved its objectives using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the group project and experienced firsthand the benefits of the cultural competence module.
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.