Think Cultural Health News

Bridging the Health Care Gap Through Cultural Competency Continuing Education Programs

May 2010

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CLCCHC Corner

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Health care reform is a huge step forward in our ongoing efforts to increase access to health care but also eliminate health disparities. This legislation lays the foundation for health care that is both affordable and focused on quality - including the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Be sure to check out the "Did You Know?" feature of this edition of Think Cultural Health News to learn more about the role of cultural competency in health care reform.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope you enjoy this edition of Think Cultural Health News!

Sincerely,

Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW
Special Assistant to the Secretary
Office of Minority Health, Health and Human Services

Effects of Mandating Cultural Competency Legislation on A Physician's Practical Guide

Recent research from A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care provides promising evidence that mandating cultural competency education can have a large impact on providers. Cultural competency legislation has been introduced in several states, including New Jersey, California, Washington and most recently Connecticut, as a means to more effectively incorporate CLAS into health care. Mandatory cultural competency education garners some criticism, including the idea that forced training will create negative reactions to cultural differences or cross-cultural efficacy. Many feel, however, that mandating this training will improve patient-provider interactions, adherence to treatment plans, and patient satisfaction.

To determine what, if any differences in attitudes about cultural competency exist between individuals who self-select to take cultural competency curricula and those who take it to fulfill a mandate, the Think Cultural Health team examined registration data from A Physician's Practical Guide. Responses to questions interspersed throughout the program were examined for two comparative groups: 1) participants from New Jersey before and after a legislative mandate took effect; and 2) participants required to participate in the CCCM as part of a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) compared with participants during the same time frame who were not part of a QIO.

Participants in the mandated and self-select categories consistently demonstrated increased cultural competency knowledge, attitudes and skills. The little to no difference in responses to attitudinal questions reveals the positive value of increasing awareness of cultural competency among physicians through policy initiatives. Concerns that mandating cultural competency will negatively affect physician attitudes appear to be unfounded based on these initial results.

This research suggests that cultural competency mandates are an effective method of promoting culturally and linguistically appropriate health care that could be implemented in other states nationwide and applied to a variety of health care professionals, including nurses. Cultural competency mandates in state legislation are one tool to help reduce the burden of health care disparities among racially and ethnically diverse communities.

Small Group Learning Options for TCH Programs

Did you know that once you've completed the Culturally Competent Nursing Care program, you can register to be a Facilitator and lead small group sessions? When you sign up to become a Facilitator, you will receive a Kit from the Think Cultural Health project - it contains everything you need to know in order to lead a small group learning session on the content presented in the Culturally Competent Nursing Care program. The Facilitator's Guide will walk you through teaching points and activities you can use, along with PowerPoint slides and handouts for participants. You will also be able to play the video case studies which are featured in the program via a DVD which is included in your Kit.

Small group facilitation is also an option offered for A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care, and will soon be an option for the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response. For more information on becoming a Facilitator for either program, click on the "Small Group Instruction" tab at http://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov.

Focus Groups Conducted to Evaluate TCH Disaster Program

In late February, the Think Cultural Health project began a preliminary evaluation of its latest curriculum, the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response (DPCR). Preliminary evaluation focus groups were conducted throughout the country to explore participants' attitudes, skills and behaviors relating to cultural competency in DPCR and will continue through July 2011. Focus groups were recently conducted in San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; Omaha, NE; Washington, DC; Memphis, TN; and Miami, FL. The results of these focus groups and other explorations will be summarized in a Two-Year Evaluation Report of the program. The DPCR has been very well received to date, with nearly 1300 users and positive responses and feedback received.

For more information about the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response (DPCR), please visit https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/Content
/DocumentArchive_cccdpcr.asp
.

What Are We Up To?

  • Moffitt Cancer Center "Cancer, Cultural and Literacy" Conference in Clearwater Beach, FL May 20-22, 2010
  • Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit in Las Vegas, NV June 2-6, 2010
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ June 23-27, 2010
  • National Academy of Hispanic Nurses Annual Conference in Washington, DC July 21-24, 2010

Think Cultural Health has several upcoming presentations. We will be presenting results from evaluations of our Physicians' and Nursing programs at the Moffitt Cancer Center's conference on Cancer, Cultural and Literacy in Clearwater Beach, FL in mid-May. We will also be presenting on the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response in Las Vegas, NV at the Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit in early June. Additionally, we will be presenting on the Culturally Competent Nursing Care program at both the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference as well as at the National Academy of Hispanic Nurses Annual Conference in June and July, respectively. Please stop by and see us!

Is there a specific conference or professional event you think the Think Cultural Health team should be present for? Email us and let us know at contact@thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov.