Think Cultural Health News

Bridging the Health Care Gap Through Cultural Competency Continuing Education Programs

November 2010

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CLCCHC Corner

Think Cultural Health has relocated to a new home on the World Wide Web. The resources and suite of continuing education programs you have come to count on from Think Cultural Health are now available at http://www.ThinkCulturalHealth.hhs.gov. Currently, you are still able to access our programs and resources through the .org address, but it will redirect to our new HHS URL. Please update your bookmarks with our new address and we hope you will visit us in our new home!

Thank you for your continued support of the Think Cultural Health project.

Sincerely,

Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW
Senior Health Advisor to the Director
Office of Minority Health
Office of the Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CLAS Enhancement Initiative

In the last edition of Think Cultural Health news, we told you about an Enhancement Initiative that would mark the 10 year anniversary of the National CLAS Standards and seek to ensure that the CLAS Standards stay current and appropriate. As a part of this initiative, we have been seeking public input from individuals and professional communities across the country.

This fall, we held three public comment meetings to capture comments and feedback from individuals like you regarding the existing CLAS Standards. The meetings were held in Baltimore, MD, San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL. The feedback and enthusiasm we have received has been great! We appreciate everyone who came out to see us and share their insights!

The online public comment period for the CLAS Enhancement Initiative will remain open until the end of the calendar year. If you were unable to attend one of the public meetings and would like to provide your feedback online regarding the CLAS Standards, please visit https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov. You may also view the Federal Register posting directly by clicking here.

For more information or to ask a question about this initiative, please contact us at CLAS_Enhancements@thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov.

Cultural Competency and Language Access Legislation

This month, Think Cultural Health highlights some recent state level legislation relating to cultural competency and language access:

  • Starting October 1, 2010, physicians in the state of Connecticut are required to complete at least one continuing education hour in cultural competency in order to renew their licensure. Go here for more information.


  • Maryland recently passed legislation mandating that a cultural competency training module be developed for law enforcement officers assigned to public schools. Officers are encouraged to complete the cultural competency program before beginning their assignment. Go here for more information.


  • Also in Maryland, Patient-Centered Medical Homes are now required to conduct culturally and linguistically appropriate educational activities, and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care for all patients for the purpose of eliminating health disparities. Go here for more information.

Think Cultural Health maintains an interactive map of relevant cultural competency legislation. It can be accessed at any time here.

Think Cultural Health Wins eHealthcare Leadership Award!

Think Cultural Health has been recognized for its outstanding role in communicating health care through the Internet, and has been declared a winner of the 2010 eHealthcare Leadership Awards! The award recognizes the best websites of healthcare organizations dedicated to using the Internet to promote health care, and Think Cultural Health was selected as a winner from over 1,200 entries!

For the past six years, the Think Cultural Health team has worked tirelessly to facilitate the learning processes of culturally and linguistically competent care and services, providing information, resources, and continuing education programs to a wide variety of health professionals. Our hard work has paid off and will result in the receipt of this prestigious award, which will be presented at the 14th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference to be held November 15-17, 2010 in Las Vegas.

For more information regarding the eHealthcare Leadership awards please visit http://www.strategichealthcare.com.

What Are We Up To?

The Think Cultural Health team was very busy this fall, presenting on several topics at both the DiversityRx National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations (October 18-21 in Baltimore, MD) and the American Public Health Association Annual Conference (November 6-10 in Denver, CO). Both conferences provided excellent opportunities to spread the word about the tools and resources available on the Think Cultural Health site.

At the Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations conference, this year’s theme was “Improving health care for culturally diverse populations: A new place on the national health agenda.” The conference was alive with enthusiastic and energetic attendees dedicated to health equity and the provision of quality health care for diverse populations. OMH and Think Cultural Health team presented on the CLAS Standards Enhancement Initiative, preliminary results from an evaluation of our disaster curriculum, and the impact of New Jersey’s legislative mandates on the attitudes of physicians taking one of the Think Cultural Health cultural competency continuing education programs.

Earlier this month, the Think Cultural Health team also presented at the American Public Health Association’s annual conference in Denver, CO. Our presentation on the Health Care Language Services Implementation Guide and two poster presentations were quite well received by the health professionals in attendance.

With the holidays approaching, we’ll be slowing down our presentations over the next couple months, but we’ll pick things back up in the New Year. If there is a specific conference or professional event you think the Think Cultural Health team should attend, please email us and let us know at contact@ThinkCulturalHealth.hhs.gov.