The Drexel University School of Public Health hosted the Sixth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations from September 21–24, 2008, in Minneapolis, Minn. The theme of the conference was "Partnerships for the Future: Supporting Practitioners and Advancing the Field Through Innovation, Policy and Research."
The five previous conferences worked to document and stimulate progress in the field of quality health care for culturally diverse populations. The Fourth National Conference showcased the best programs, services and policies to national health organizations and leaders. The Fifth National Conference identified and highlighted leading work in the field and promoted the integration of this field into health care practice and policy.
The grant staff designed the agenda for the sixth conference to focus on:
- Addressing the needs and concerns that affect day-to-day practice at the clinical, organizational and community levels. This includes issues affecting job performance, management, quality of service delivery, and overall acceptance of cultural competence/disparity reduction interventions.
- Continuing the integration of cultural competence/disparity reduction into mainstream healthcare priorities. This includes improving access to services and insurance.
- Developing a vision for advancing the field. What work is needed to refine, consolidate and advance the field and its practice areas? What are the key needs of the field in practice, policy and research? What standardization and new approaches/practices are required?
The conference agenda included pre-conference training sessions, main conference workshops, and a film festival depicting a number of cross-cultural health issues.
More than 650 participants attended the conference representing 45 states and 13 countries. The participants included clinicians, interpreters, trainers, government officials, advocates, community representatives, administrators from health plans, hospital and accrediting organizations, foundation officers, medical educators and researchers.
Conference participants maintain ongoing dialogue about relevant issues through the CLAS-talk listserv, which has more than 1,000 participants.