Online Program

A systems approach to implementing and supporting culturally and linguistically appropriate health services at the Massachusetts department of public health

Monday, November 4, 2013

Elizabeth Brown, MPH, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
As part of statewide efforts to promote equitable access to health services, the Massachusetts Department of Public health (MDPH) is facilitating the implementation of the federal Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards throughout the Department and across its 300 funded vendor agencies. The 14 CLAS Standards offer a framework to inform, guide and facilitate required and recommended practices related to workforce diversity, language access, and culturally competent care. The MDPH CLAS Initiative is using a systems approach to promote the awareness and application of the CLAS standards at all levels of practice, while also focusing on the sustainability of these efforts. What nourishes this systems approach is the cross-departmental collaborations within MDPH, as well as the partnerships maintained with external agencies. These collaborations enhance the Initiative's capacity to work at multiple-levels across MDPH to address the multiple areas targeted by CLAS Standards. This poster will describe the key target areas of the Initiative and how each is contributing to the progress toward the CLAS Initiative's goals. The key areas are: 1) a broad-based, active, and responsive administrative structure; 2) the integration of CLAS-related education and training into current training infrastructures at MDPH; 3) the integration of CLAS standards to MDPH RFR procurement and contractual requirements with vendor agencies; and 4) ongoing assessment of program progress in implementing the Standards. Strategies and implications drawn from the presentation can inform health services agencies seeking to enhance their capacity to address health disparities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss ways a state-level health agency can systematize CLAS standards across the agency and its community-based programs Describe the role of cross-departmental and external partnerships in implementing CLAS standards

Keyword(s): Health Departments, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the primary Evaluator for the Mass Department of Public Health's (DPH) Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Initiative for 3 years. I have over 15 years of experience evaluating community-based prevention programs and have more recently evaluated the 3 year progress of 20 community-based Health Disparity Reduction grantees funded by DPH.
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.