Category: Cultural Competency

Primary Competency Area

A public health perspective on dismantling systemic racism: What role for health departments?

Course Objective

  • Explain why state and local health departments have the opportunity, mandate, capacity and imperative to take action to dismantle elements of systemic racism that harm health
  • Give examples of specific actions health departments can take to interrupt pathways by which racially disparate access to healthy food, criminal justice policies, and educational policies contribute to the health burdens of Black, Latinx, indigenous, and other populations of color.
  • Identify one or more ways that they can take action now within their institution to strengthen its actions designed to dismantle systemic racism

Date: September 1, 2020

Presenters
Nicholas Freudenberg, DrPH, MPH

Erinn Bacchus, MPH

Craig Willingham, MPH

City University of New York Urban Food Policy Institute


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, participants learn about three distinct approaches to address the intersections between public health and systemic racism in the United States. Dr. Nicholas Freudenburg, DrPH, MPH, discusses the relationship between the key determinants of health and racism and the need to end the inequitable provisions of education, housing and healthcare by creating communities of opportunity. Errin Bachhus, MPH, addresses racism in the criminal justice system and the role of public health organizations. In light of recent incidents of police brutality, she highlights the need to reevaluate the role of police departments and the best ways for health departments to intervene through programs and policy. Craig Willingham, MPH, examines how food policy can be crucial in increasing racial equity. He reviews the Good Food Purchasing Program and other city-wide efforts and shares how they can be targeted at minority groups to help alleviate inequities. Lastly, the speakers suggest a to-do list for public health organizations to actively make changes to current structures, provide creative examples to inspire action and recommend books to further broaden perspectives.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain why state and local health departments have the opportunity, mandate, capacity and imperative to take action to dismantle elements of systemic racism that harm health
  2. Give examples of specific actions health departments can take to interrupt pathways by which racially disparate access to healthy food, criminal justice policies, and educational policies contribute to the health burdens of Black, Latinx, indigenous, and other populations of color.
  3. Identify one or more ways that they can take action now within their institution to strengthen its actions designed to dismantle systemic racism.
Plain Language: What is it? Why does it matter to health? How can you use it to advance health equity?

Course Objective

  • Identify language that makes comprehension difficult for readers
  • Apply basic strategies to make communication more clear
  • Connect to additional resources to advance their understanding of plain language

Date: January 7th 2020

Presenter:
Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA
Assistant Commissioner and Registrar, Bureau of Vital Statistics, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, participants will learn the basics of plain language from Dr. Gretchen Van Wye, Assistant Commissioner and Registrar for the Bureau of Vital Statistics for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Gretchen walks participants through basic strategies of clear communication and discusses how plain language is essential to advance health equity.

Participants will learn about the following three lessons about public health communication:

  1. Identify language that makes comprehension difficult for readers
  2. Apply basic strategies to make communication more clear
  3. Connect to additional resources to advance their understanding of plain language
Hair as a Social Determinant of Health Among Black Adolescent Girls
African American Woman

Course Objective

  • School nurses will be able to identify and explain the cultural beliefs surrounding cultural hair practices.
  • Public Health Professionals will acquire the cultural competency to proactively deter childhood obesity among black girls.
  • Local Health Departments will understand the need to direct funding toward interventions and programs addressing the socio-cultural barrier of hair to physical activity of overweight and obese adolescents.

Date: November 28, 2017

Presenter:
Patricia O’Brien-Richardson, PhD, MS Ed
Assistant Professor
Rutgers University School of Public Health


Hair is perceived as a socio-cultural barrier to physical activity among a group that is disproportionately affected by obesity, overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Culturally relevant research and subsequent interventions and programs are needed to prevent urban black adolescent girls from becoming inactive, obese adults. In this webinar we will explore hair as a social determinant of health among black adolescent girls. Hair holds special meaning to women and girls of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and has significant value to many women of African descent, and is often influenced by historical, social, and cultural factors.

Socio-structural factors, health disparities, and the uptake of biomedical HIV prevention for Black Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
Two Black Men

Course Objective

  • Describe how factors not directly related to biomedical HIV prevention (e.g., the labor market, law enforcement, gendered expectations) influence how Black MSM approach HIV prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Give examples of how factors across multiple levels (e.g., structural, community, interpersonal) impact how Black MSM engage with biomedical HIV prevention
  • Describe what types of multi-level approaches might facilitate Black MSM’s uptake of PrEP. Describe how can we balance the development of more proximate interventions (e.g., education campaigns) with large scale interventions (e.g., expanding insurance access) that might have a larger impact

Date: September 11, 2017

Presenter:
Morgan Philbin, PhD, MHS
Assistant Professor
Columbia University University Mailman School of Public Health


Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are at significantly higher risk of HIV. This is due to a complex interplay between socio-structural factors and their own intersectional identities. In this webinar, Dr Philbin describes her ethnographic study examining how factors at all levels of the social-ecological model shape healthcare behavior for black MSM and how they access PreP, as well as her sub-study about structural barriers to access. Some of these barriers included misunderstanding about PreP’s effectiveness and side-effects, concerns that it would decrease others’ condom use, distrust in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers, precarious housing, the structure of the labor market, gendered healthcare systems, institutional and normative gender rules, and stigma. Dr Philbin highlights the importance of reducing barriers at all levels, particularly at the structural level in areas of stigma, employment, and housing. The implications include the need to eliminate the relationship between employment and access to healthcare, enacting policies that regulate shift work (scheduling and pay), creating clinical spaces that welcome all types of men, and expanding the PreP Assistance Program.

Caring for Vulnerable Populations in School Health
Diverse Group of Toddlers

Course Objective

  • Describe how vulnerable populations are identified in the school setting.
  • Give examples of the issues (medical, mental, social) commonly faced by students in vulnerable populations.
  • List methods to increase community and school involvement in the care of students in vulnerable populations.

Date: September 5, 2017

Presenter:
Natalie Mathurin, MD, MPH
Medical Director at Student Health Services
School District of Philadelphia

Cheryl Lawrence, MD
Medical Director at the Office of School Health-Family and Child Health
New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


Dr. Mathurin and Dr. Lawrence describe the purpose and goals of programs developed to aid children that belong to vulnerable populations using the New York City Department of Health as a case study. The beginning of the presentation considers data about vulnerable populations in New York City and why it is important to address health of children in these populations. The presenters then present the mission, objectives, frameworks, and activities of programs to care for students in vulnerable populations.

A Community-Based Organization’s Approach to Addressing LGBT Health Disparities
Colorful Balloons in Shape of a Rainbow

Course Objective

  • Identify the social and medical barriers that impact health outcomes for these various communities
  • Cite examples of culturally sensitive and inclusive programing for LGBTQ communities

Date: February 28, 2017

Presenter:
Gary Paul Wright
Founder and Executive Director
African American Office of Gay Concerns


This session will describe how the African American Office of Gay Concerns (AAOGC), a non-profit agency in Newark, NJ, has made great impacts in the health of the LGBT communities, with a particular emphasis on addressing health disparities in the LGBT community. The session focuses on the social and medical barriers regularly faced by members of the LGBT community.

The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care Review
Nurse Reading to Mother and Daughter

Course Objective

  • Explain why CLAS standards are vital for advancing health equity, improving quality, and helping to eliminate healthcare disparities;
  • Consider ways your organization could work with community stakeholders to ensure community needs and assets data is being collected and responded to appropriately;
  • Identify implementation strategies that your organization could use to integrate various CLAS standards into policy and practice;

Date: June 7, 2016

Presenter:
M. Carolyn Daniels, D.H.Sc, M.Ed.
Executive Director, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health
New Jersey Department of Health


This webinar covers a brief history of the Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards, the overview and importance of implementing CLAS, CLAS Standards, implementation strategies, the Title VI Civil Rights Act, and the relationship of Title VI to the CLAS Standards. CLAS is increasingly important as the communities we serve experience changes in demographics and increasing diversity, while health disparities and inequalities continue to plague the greater population. This webinar outlines the National CLAS Standards Blueprint, a condensed version of the full CLAS Standards that can be used as an implementation guide, created and released by the New Jersey Office of Minority Multicultural Health in 2014.

Health Disparity within The Transgender Community
Transgender Symbol Drawn on Notepad

Course Objective

  • Identify appropriate terminology as it pertains to sexual identity / gender identification
  • Recognize key services and resources providers can utilize to assist trans community

Date: January 21, 2016

Reviewed June 30, 2020

Presenter:
Health Disparity within The Transgender Community
Owner/Consultant
BGC Consulting


Individuals who identify as transgender are at greater risk of health disparity. Understanding that gender is not binary is vital to helping clients receive appropriate services. Helping those who do not subscribe to the gender binary and those who are questioning gender is an important consideration for public health professionals in order to provide affirmative services to an underserved population. This webinar will help providers grasp concepts of gender outside the binary, allow providers to identify key elements in helping the Trans population, and create understanding the diversity of the Trans community in receiving health and wellness services.

Region 2 Public Health Training Center