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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on August 20, 2010

Adventist HealthCare Partners with Other Health-Care Organizations to Eliminate Health Disparities and Promote Culturally Competent Care

Executive Director to Teach at Qualified Bilingual Staff ‘Train the Trainer’ Program

Rockville, MDAdventist HealthCare has partnered with Kaiser Permanente and the Maryland Hospital Association to offer a free, Qualified Bilingual Staff Program to all Maryland hospital participants at a five-day conference this month in Elkridge, Md. The “Train the Trainer” program will promote culturally competent and linguistically appropriate care that will improve health outcomes and help eliminate health-care disparities through the implementation of Kaiser Permanente’s Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) program.

The 40-hour conference is a workforce diversity and development program designed to provide bilingual health-care staff with training and education in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health-care services within their own facility. Gayle Tang, Director of Kaiser Permanente’s National Diversity and Cultural Programs and creator of the QBS will be the main instructor. The program is supported by a grant from Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic Community Benefit Program and the partnership of the Maryland Hospital Association and Adventist HealthCare.

Marcos Pesquera, Executive Director of Adventist HealthCare’s Center on Health Disparities and Monica Villalta, Director of Diversity Programs at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, will help to teach participants cultural competency, diversity, patient health beliefs and practices, among other relevant topics. Pesquera and Villalta will share their own first-hand experiences and teach the participants the necessary skills to implement this program into their own medical facilities.

“This program will allow other hospitals in the State of Maryland to improve their capacity and capability to provide care that is culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate,” Pesquera said. “I look forward to teaching others about the rich diversity that exists within our communities and the skills needed to provide exceptional, quality health care to patients.”

The Center on Health Disparities, which began in 2007, has trained more than 5,500 Adventist HealthCare employees and 580 community health partners, including Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Priority Partners, county health leaders and community health organizations. The training, in the classroom and online, instructs health providers how to deliver and communicate care in a way that is sensitive to a patient's cultural beliefs and preferred language in order to treat disease, improve health outcomes and achieve and maintain wellness.

“Adventist HealthCare has always believed that collaboration with other health-care partners is the most effective and efficient path to improving the health of people across Maryland,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, President and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “This partnership is another extension of the Center on Health Disparities dedication to eliminating health-care barriers and ensuring that quality care is provided to patients throughout the state.”

In addition, the Center on Health Disparities also has trained bilingual staff in its hospitals in proper medical interpretation to help eliminate language barriers and ensure patients with limited English-language proficiency have a full understanding of important health-care decisions. The Center has trained 232 staff members in 10 languages, including: Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, French, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

On August 23, a panel of experts will lead a discussion on the role of health care reform and Joint Commission in promoting patient centered care, health equity and its impact on hospitals and health plans. The discussion will begin with dinner at the Elkridge Furnace Inn at 6:00 p.m.

Adventist HealthCare's Center on Health Disparities was started in 2007 to provide quality care to everyone by bridging the health-care access gap in our communities. The Center is a recognized expert in addressing health-care disparities and building health-care equity. Among its partners are the Brookings Institution, Johns Hopkins Priority Partners, US Department of Health & Human Services, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, University of Maryland, School of Public Health, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties Departments of Health and Human Services and Montgomery Cares Clinics.

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God's care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist Behavioral Health Services, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Health Services, and the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children.

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