Conferees Focus on the Health Care Needs of Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities and Their Providers

Second national conference on health care for culturally diverse populations: 2000

The State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn) held a second national conference on quality of care for culturally diverse populations titled, "Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations: Strategy and Action for Communities, Providers and a Changing Health System."

Key Results

  • The conference was held on October 11–14, 2000, in Los Angeles.

    Nearly 600 health care managers and professionals, educators, students and representatives of diverse communities from 33 states and three countries attended.

    Eleven pre-conference workshops on health and diversity issues were offered on October 11, 2000.

    The main conference featured 114 speakers who presented at 30 workshops, five plenary panels, eight lectures and four roundtable discussions.

  • The conference focused on the following four major themes:

    1. Integrating the needs of diverse communities and health care providers within one mission.
    2. Designing service delivery and educational and training strategies to improve cultural competence among health care practitioners.
    3. Creating culturally competent health systems and programs.
    4. Advancing policy to assure access to quality health care for culturally diverse communities.

Key Conclusions

  • The conclusions drawn from the expert presenters and discussion among participants included the following:

    • Health care executives see community involvement as key to organizational excellence and survival.
    • Policy initiatives set the standard for culturally competent health services.
    • Recruitment, training and partnering with the community are the first steps toward a culturally representative workforce in the health professions.
    • New curricula and training requirements for health professionals integrate cultural competence into the educational environment.
    • The success of the clinical encounter often depends on an understanding of the patient's culture.

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