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HHS Offers Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disasters

Mar 13, 2015

Have you experienced a time when you did not know how to best serve a diverse patient population before, after or during a disaster? Did you know that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to suffer worse outcomes than the general population during every phase of a disaster?

A new set of courses from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)- Culturally Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response -- is designed to integrate knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to cultural competency in order to help lessen racial and ethnic health care disparities brought on by disaster situations. The courses target emergency medical personnel, disaster mental health and social workers, public health service officers, and disaster relief organization employees who have the unique opportunity to help improve access to care, quality of care, and health outcomes to those persons subject to racial and ethnic health disparities in a disaster situation.

Throughout the curriculum, a broad range of skills are introduced, such as: working with an interpreter, locating translated materials, negotiating cultural differences, and implementing the CLAS Standards into organizational policy. These skills are shown in real-life scenarios so that you may be able to adopt them into your own environment.