Cultural and Linguistic Competency

Think Cultural Health

CLAS are services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse patients. CLAS is a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity.

National CLAS Standards

OMH developed the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care, also known as the National CLAS Standards, to advance health equity, improve quality of services, and help eliminate disparities.

The National CLAS Standards are a comprehensive set of 15 action steps that provide a blueprint for individuals and health and health care organizations to provide CLAS. To learn more about the National CLAS Standards, visit this webpage, which also offers a National CLAS Standards Implementation Checklist.

This Behavioral Health Implementation Guide underscores the ways in which the National CLAS Standards can improve access to behavioral health care, promote quality behavioral health programs and practices, and ultimately reduce persistent disparities in mental health and substance use treatment for underserved minority communities.

Think Cultural Health

Think Cultural Health is an OMH initiative that provides health and health care professionals with information, continuing education opportunities, and resources to learn about and implement CLAS and the National CLAS Standards.

E-Learning Programs

Through the Think Cultural Health website, OMH offers free, accredited online educational programs tailored for a variety of health care professionals, including physicians; nurses; oral health, maternal health, and behavioral health providers; disaster and emergency management personnel; and community health workers/promotores(as) de salud. Each e-learning program is designed to build knowledge, skills, and awareness of cultural and linguistic competency and CLAS as a way to improve quality of care.

National CLAS Physician Survey

In November 2018, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released the public use files and restricted data files for the 2016 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Supplement on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services for Office-based Physicians (National CLAS Physician Survey). The National CLAS Physician Survey is the first nationally representative survey designed to describe cultural and linguistic competency and the provision of the National CLAS Standards among office-based physicians in the United States. Visit the CDC’s site for more information.