a documentary film by Pearl J. Park

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C U L T U R A L  C O M P E T E N C Y

What Is Cultural Competency? from the website of the Office of Minority Health
Cultural and linguistic competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables 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).

And why is it important? Cultural competency is one the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care. It?s the way patients and doctors can come together and talk about health concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation, but enhancing it. Quite simply, health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients can help bring about positive health outcomes.

Culture of Emotions produced and directed by Harriet Koskoff
Culture and ethnicity play multidimensional roles in the ways we experience and understand our own psychological states and those of others. The Culture of Emotions is a cultural competence and diversity training program exploring the variety of ways the diverse cultures of America understand mind and body and the disorders to which mind and body are subject. It is designed to introduce cultural competence and diversity skills to all clinicians and students who work with clients with mental health issues in academic, community mental health, or managed care settings. Clinicians and researchers from a variety of cultural backgrounds contribute their personal and professional perspectives.

Shame and Silence - produced by the New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health (www.asianmentalhealth.org) 2-hr video - The DVD consists of fivesimulated interviews between clinicians and actors who playthe roles of simulated patients. The cases include: 1) a South Asian-American woman with bipolar disorder, 2) a Vietnamese-American man with somatic presentation of depression and PTSD, 4) the parents of a Pilipino-American child with ADHD, and 5) a Korean-American woman with Major Depression and substance abuse.

Worlds Apart: A Four-Part Series on Cross-Cultural Healthcare Fanlight Distributors Worlds Apart is a set of four documentary videos designed to stimulate thought and discussion about the effects of culture on communication and medical decision-making. Each video encapsulates the story of a real patient and his or her interactions with physicians and family. The four videos are: (1) Kochi Story ? an Afghan man, diagnosed with stomach cancer, decides about chemotherapy amidst miscommunication due to translation issues and religious convictions; (2) Chitsena Story ? the mother of a four-year-old girl from Laos is caught between physicians who tell her that her daughter needs surgery to correct an atrial septal defect, and her mother who upholds the traditional Khmu beliefs that scars, including surgical scars, are injurious to a person in future lives; (3) Phillips Story ? an African-American man on dialysis discusses the prejudices against black people in the health care system, particularly the decreased chances for receiving a renal transplant; (4) Mercado Story ? a 60-year-old Puerto Rican woman who lives in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, explains the complex social situation which affects her ability to take care of her chronic health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension. The films depict the patients and families in various settings ? in doctors' offices, at other health care facilities, at home or work, during religious ceremonies. Phillips Story is different in that only the patient speaks during the film ? in the other three stories we hear family members, translators, and physicians. The pitfalls of translation by a family member or friend are discussed, as well as the need for the physician to elicit information from patients about the social contexts that may affect their health and decisions.


The below online cultural competency training modules are free. Some of them offer CEU and CME credits.

The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health (TA Partnership) provides technical assistance to system of care communities that are currently funded to operate the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program. http://www.tapartnership.org/COP/CLC/asianHawaiianPacificIslander.php

Management Health Sciences http://erc.msh.org/aapi/cc1.html

A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care cccm.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov is a FREE self-directed training course for physicians and other health care professionals with a specific interest in cultural competency in the provision of care. With growing concerns about racial and ethnic disparities in health and about the need for health care systems to accommodate increasingly diverse patient populations, cultural competence has become more and more a matter of national concern. To train physicians to care for diverse populations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS') Office of Minority Health (OMH) has commissioned the Cultural Competency Curriculum Modules (CCCMs). These modules, encompassed in A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care, will equip physicians and other health care professionals with competencies that will enable them to better treat the increasingly diverse U.S. population. This site, offering continuing education credits, contains a variety of self assessments, case studies, video vignettes, learning points, pre and posttests, as well as the opportunity to submit your feedback and see what other participants think about the cases and content.

Culturally Competent Nursing Care: A Cornerstone of Caring is a free online educational program designed specifically for nurses and is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the National Association of Social Workers.

Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response is a free online educational program designed for First Responders of disaster preparedness and crisis response including Emergency Medical Technicians, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Social Workers.

Health Care Language Services Implementation Guide is a Web-based interactive tool that can assist health care organizations in planning, implementing, and evaluating language access services to better serve their limited English proficiency patient population and decrease disparities in access to health care.

Quality Interactions www.qualityinteractions.org is an e-learning program that provides case-based instruction on cross-cultural health care. This interactive program allows you to receive the best cultural competency training available in a format you can access on the web 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — whether it be at your office or from home. The program will bookmark as you complete each section, so you can log out when you need to and continue, as well as complete the course at a later date. After purchasing the course, you will have 90 days to complete the course and receive your certificate.

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