As the diversity of our community continues to change and develop, providing health care that is culturally sensitive goes to the heart of our mission as an organization. When we open ourselves to learn and understand the perspectives of other individuals, it creates a therapeutic environment in which knowledge transfer and acceptance can occur.
The communities that we serve are not just racially diverse but vary in terms of country of origin, primary language spoken, culture, religion, special needs, and socio-economic status. Some local populations exhibit different health beliefs, practices and health seeking behaviors that are different from our Western medical practice.
The Center on Health Disparities equips our community and providers with the necessary tools to provide care for our diverse community in a culturally sensitive way.
Culturally Competent Care
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, cultural and linguistic competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.
Culturally Competent Care Training Modules
Culturally Competent Care training modules have been developed as a response to the challenges and opportunities that serving our very diverse, ethnic, racial and cultural communities bring. This training targets health services providers and support staff.
Our Culturally Competent Care training modules will address the following areas:
- Awareness of health and health care disparities in different populations.
- Exploration of subconscious biases, stereotypes and assumptions and how they play a part in the patient-provider relationship.
- Increase knowledge of health beliefs and practices of the ethnically diverse populations in our communities.
Qualified Bilingual Staff
Clear and effective patient-provider communication is critical to each and every medical encounter. Differences in language and culture, when not addressed, may potentially lead to miscommunication between patients and providers, resulting in misunderstandings, safety errors, loss of information, and poor shared-decision making. Providing linguistically and culturally appropriate health care services is central to providing high-quality care, and associated with achieving improved patient outcomes. The Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) training program was developed to increase our capability to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients and their families. The program targets bilingual, dual role staff and trains them in proper interpreting skills during a medical encounter. The program consists of a three day (24 hour) training and a language proficiency test. For more information and to apply, see Qualified Bilingual Staff Program.