Think Cultural Health News

Advancing Health Equity at Every Point of Contact

February 2014

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Happy New Year from the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care (CLCCHC) at the HHS Office of Minority Health! We will be celebrating the first anniversary of the publication of the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care in April. We would love to hear from you about your organization’s adoption of the National CLAS Standards! Please read below to find out how you can share your successes, lessons learned, or questions with us. Hearing about your experiences greatly helps us understand how the National CLAS Standards are being adopted at different health and health care organizations around the country.

We are also looking forward to the launch of our newest e-learning program, the Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals. We’re excited to share this e-learning program as a valuable tool for advancing oral health equity, improving quality of oral health care, and reducing oral health disparities. In this edition of Think Cultural Health News, you’ll learn more about this e-learning program.

As always, thank you for your dedication to advancing health equity!

Are You a CLAS Champion? We Want to Hear From You!

In April, we will celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. First published in 2000 and revised in 2013, the National CLAS Standards provide a blueprint for health and health care organizations to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities.

To celebrate the enhanced National CLAS Standards turning one, we would like to hear from you! We would like to hear about your experiences with the National CLAS Standards to better understand how they are being adopted and implemented across different health fields and communities nationwide.

We need your help! We invite you to take five minutes to email us your responses to the following questions by April 1:

  1. When did you first hear about the National CLAS Standards?
  2. How does your organization use the National CLAS Standards (either the 2001 or 2013 Standards) in its day-to-day operations or practice?
  3. What are some of the challenges or difficulties your organization has had in using the National CLAS Standards?
  4. May we contact you to find out more about your organization and its use of the National CLAS Standards?

Please send your responses to By answering these questions, you are helping us understand the National CLAS Standards’ adoption and implementation.

In hearing from you, we would also like to compile successes and lessons learned to share with the "Join the CLCCHC" network. That way, you can read about other organizations’ efforts to implement the National CLAS Standards, which can help inform your own implementation efforts.

Thank you!

The Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals

A new Think Cultural Health e-learning program launches this spring! The Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals (CCPOHP) is a free e-learning program designed specifically for oral health professionals, such as dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants.

The CCPOHP is a 3-course program that offers information and knowledge about cultural and linguistic competency in oral health. It will offer eligible oral health professionals the opportunity to gain up to 6 continuing education credits at no cost to them. The program is recognized by ADA CERP and is accredited by Professional Learning Services, LLC and Ciné-Med.

Cultural and linguistic competency helps oral health professionals deliver care that respects patients' cultural beliefs and language preferences. By delivering oral health care in this manner, oral health professionals can better help patients meet their oral health care goals. In this way, cultural and linguistic competency may help oral health professionals reduce disparities and deliver a higher quality of care.

The CCPOHP is the first Think Cultural Health e-learning program based on the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care, published by the HHS Office of Minority Health in 2013.

The Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals (CCPOHP) is a key component of the HHS Oral Health Initiative, which emphasizes that oral health is essential to overall health. This initiative supports the effective delivery of oral health services to underserved populations and promotes awareness of the importance of oral health among racial and ethnic minorities and other populations that experience higher levels of oral diseases.

For more information, please visit Think Cultural Health or contact us at

What Are We Up To?

As 2014 gets under way, the Think Cultural Health team will be updating some e-learning products, including the Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services. The Guide helps organizations implement effective language access services to meet the needs of patients with limited English proficiency more appropriately. The Guide highlights the benefits of language access services by illustrating what patients and family members experience when seeking health care services, at each point of contact throughout the delivery of a continuum of care.

The fields of cultural and linguistic competency are constantly evolving, so the TCH team is revising the content of the Guide to make sure it reflects the latest developments and research. Stay tuned! As a member of "Join the CLCCHC," you’ll be the first to know when the updated Guide is published!

Do you have an event you'd like to share with the TCH team and other members of the CLCCHC community? Submit the event to our Community Calendar.