HHS Announces National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC April 24, 2013 – HDA Executive Director David Pena attended the launch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the updated national standards to help organizations and health care professionals improve quality of care and reduce health disparities. The enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care – also known as CLAS Standards – are a comprehensive series of guidelines that inform, guide, and facilitate practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services.

Disparities in health and health care – including disproportionate rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer – have long burdened racial and ethnic minority communities. This announcement builds on the Department’s efforts to reduce health disparities; and ensure all individuals have access to high- quality health care.
The announcement was held at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center located in the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Building in Washington, D.C.

Presenters Included;

Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS
J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, HHS
Leon Rodriguez. J.D., Director of the Office for Civil Rights, HHS
Mayra Alvarez, M.H.A., Director of Public Health Policy, Office of Health Reform, HHS
Richard Umbdenstock, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Hospital Association
Dennis Andrulis, Ph.D, M.P.H., Senior Research Scientist, Texas Health Institute
Tawara Goode, M.A., Director, National Center for Cultural Competence

Key Points of the Announcement:
-This is a Road Map not new regulations
-The CLAS Standards are all encompassing
-They include three major themes:
1. Governance, Leadership and Workforce
2. Communication and Language Assistance
3. Engagement, Continuous Improvement and Accountability

For Additional Information please visit:

www.MinorityHealth.HHS.gov or www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/Content/clas.asp
info@minorityhealth.hhs.gov