Monday, April 29, 2013

After Quite a Long Time: Federal Cultural Competency WIN!


by Dr. Scout    Reposted at,


Scout, Ph.D.

Director, The Fenway Institute's Network for LGBT Health Equity

with additional reporting from the esteemed Daniella Matthews-Trigg

Sometimes you really do have to wait for good things to happen. So if you didn't catch the news earlier this week we wanted to start your weekend off by reporting on the progress of a few different action alerts we ran back in... can you believe it, 2010.

Back then the Office of Minority Health was asking for input on their Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services. We were happy to oblige and ran a few different action alerts urging people to write in with smart ideas on how to include LGBT people in the standards for the first time. See our action alerts below:

The National CLAS was originally published in 2000, and provides a framework for all health organizations to address diverse populations, and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care. The standards aim to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate healthcare disparities. Importantly, hospitals and healthcare groups really pay attention to these standards.


What we're very happy to report is we now have culture! The enhanced National CLAS Standards have adopted an expanded definition of culture that now includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The implementation blueprint even urges trainings and data collection no less! Read more details in this great post from our friend Kellan on all the different changes here: New Health Services Standards Ensure Respect For LGBT Patients. Or poke around the new standards directly on the federal Think Cultural Health website.

Mostly, for all of you that wrote in back in 2010 that you wanted sexual orientation and gender identity to be included, we just wanted you to know, the long wait was worth it. 
Note to SCOUT: 

Think Cultural Health website , you can log in on that page using username: lgbthealthequity
password: Fenway2013@
you can access the whole document there.

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