245089 HHS Office of Minority Health's Think Cultural Health: A Cultural and Linguistic Competency Resource Center to Facilitate the Elimination of Health Inequities

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW , Office of the Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Rockville, MD
C. Godfrey Jacobs , SRA International, Inc., Health Disparities Practice, Rockville, MD
Culturally and linguistically competent care is an important strategy in the elimination of health inequities. The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) has developed Think Cultural Health, a cultural competency resource center that offers accredited online curricula, a clearinghouse of web materials, the latest information on state legislation and more. Think Cultural Health is a valuable resource to health providers seeking to improve care for their increasingly diverse populations. The field of cultural and linguistic competency is more significant and relevant than ever given the nation's persistent health inequities, the immediacy of health care reform, and the enhancement of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care.

Think Cultural Health offers a suite of free, online continuing education programs accredited for a variety of health care providers, including A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care, Culturally Competent Nursing Care and the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response. Each program equips health providers with the cultural and linguistic competencies required to improve the quality of care for diverse communities. They offer a wealth of information in a practical and meaningful way, using case studies, pre- and post-tests, self-assessment exercises, and more. Over 80,000 individuals have participated in the Think Cultural Health programs.

Each program was developed through a rigorous process that included: input from a National Project Advisory Committee made up of subject matter experts; an Environmental Scan; a Consensus-Building meeting; needs assessment focus groups; and pilot and field testing of draft curricula. Each curriculum is subject to a systematic, mixed-methods evaluation. Quantitative and qualitative data is collected through surveys embedded in the curriculum and focus groups conducted across the country. Data from these evaluations indicate that curricula participation renders a positive impact on practice behavior, promoting cultural sensitivity in patient-provider interactions.

Think Cultural Health also offers a clearinghouse of relevant tools and publications in the field, up-to-date tracking of state cultural and linguistic competency legislation, a quarterly e-newsletter, and it will soon house short educational units featuring video case studies. These features provide health professionals with the tools to develop the knowledge and skills to address health inequities and integrate cultural and linguistic competency into their day-to-day activities. Think Cultural Health is a valuable resource for health professionals seeking to improve their quality of care through cultural and linguistic competency.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
- Participants will be able to identify concepts related to cultural and linguistic competency in health care. - Participants will be able to list resources available to the public on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In my current capacity as Senior Health Advisor to the Director for Minority Health, I assist in developing policies and initiatives to mitigate health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minority communities.
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.