Cultural Competency and CLAS

Cultural and Linguistic Competency is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enable effective work in cross-cultural situations.  “Culture” refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.  “Competence” implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities (adapted from Cross, 1989).

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care

HRSA’s Free Online Course: Effective Community Tools for Healthcare Professionals

HRSA’s Online Resources for Cultural Competency

Arizona Health Disparities Center (through the Arizona Department of Health Services)

  • Language Access Resources, including I Speak cards for patients, fact sheets, and a Language Identification List for providers
  • Offer a free one-hour online course on CLAS with CEUs available

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