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Guide to Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Services

Guide to Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Services

Think Cultural Health (TCH) is the flagship initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care. TCH has published a new guide designed to assist organizations facilitate communication with the culturally and linguistically diverse individuals that receive care within health care organizations, including those with limited English proficiency (LEP).

The Guide to Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Services covers strategies for communicating in a way that considers the cultural, health literacy, and language needs of your patients and their families. Two tracks of the Guide are available:

  • One is tailored to health care administrators, with information on planning, implementing, and evaluating effective communication and language assistance services.
  • One is tailored to health care providers (or those providing direct care and services), with information on cross-cultural communication skills, working with an interpreter, and more.

This Guide is grounded in the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (or the National CLAS Standards), which are designed to advance health equity, improve health care quality, and help eliminate health care disparities.

Organizations receiving federal funding are required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide care in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.  Included with today’s notice are example policies to assist health care organizations provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care.


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