C. L. A. S

Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services

        In July 2014, Community Healthlink established the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Task Force to provide leadership for the organization's Cultural and Linguistic Competency Initiative. Task force members include representatives of CHL's leadership and staff of various departments and represent the diversity of the organization. The overarching goal of this initiative is to develop a plan of action to improve capacity to serve culturally and linguistically diverse populations in all CHL's service areas. CHL embraces the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health definition of culture "the integrated pattern of thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions associated, wholly or partially, with racial, ethnic, linguistic groups, as well as with religious, spiritual, biological, geographical, or sociological characteristics." (U.S. DHHS, Office of Minority Health. April 2013. National Standards for CLAS in Health and Health Care: A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice).

      The Task Force's first assignment was to develop a training module on CLAS Standards and Diversity and to conduct trainings throughout the organization for CHL's leadership and all employees. The purpose of this training was to promote awareness of CLAS Standards and positive employee attitude toward the assessment and implementation phases of this initiative. The training module has been added to CHL's Human Resources Orientation Program and it is conducted weekly for new employees.

      The Task Force explored assessment tools and models to choose the most appropriate for CHL to conduct a self-assessment of the organization's CLAS Standards-related activities. After extensive review, the Task Force choose to develop a tool specific to CHL utilizing the framework of the CLAS Standards. The survey questions addressed the 3 themes of the CLAS Standards: Governance, Leadership and Workforce (Standard 2-4); Communication and Language Assistance (Standards 5-8); Engagement, Continuous Improvement and Accountability (Standards 9-15). The survey was made available to all employees on SurveyMonkey and on paper and it was conducted throughout the agency.

Acknowledging that achieving Cultural and Linguistic Competency is a process, CHL is utilizing the results of the self-assessment and the feedback from CHL employees upon review of the survey to develop this 3 year Cultural and Linguistic Competency Action Plan aimed at moving the organization toward a more inclusive, culturally and linguistically responsive system of care, The plan will be reviewed and/or revised at least annually to evaluate progress and identify emerging needs. 

Introductory CLAS Training (Orientation materials)

Click here to review the CLAS Standards and news on addressing health disparities



visit http://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/  Fenway Institute from Boston for information on: 

LGBT Health overall,LGBT Families,LGBT Youth,Transgender Health,Electronic Medical Records and collecting the information correctly,Technical Assistance to Organizations. 


Visit http://www.hrc.org/explore  Human Rights Campaign and for information on:

Adoption, Allies, Bisexual, Campus and Young Adult, Children and Youth, Coming Out,Communities of Color, Hate Crimes, Health and Aging, HIV & AIDS, International, Marriage ,Parenting,Religion and Faith,State and Local Advocacy,Transgender,Transgender Children and Youth, Workplace


http://home.pflag.org/Pagef346-2.html?pid=594 PFLAG (Parents of Lesbians and Gays)

Free, downloadable publications for individuals,  families, friends, allies on multiple topics including faith issues. Spanish publications


http://www.safehomesma.org/  Safe Homes Bridge of Central Mass Youth Drop in Center

4 Mann Street Worcester


http://www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/lgbt Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration- US Government

Many resources for organizations and individuals on behavioral health issues as well as policy and advocacy


http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth-resources.htm Center for Disease Control and Prevention- US Government, client and family info sheets


http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/glbt-advisory-committee/glbt-resources/lgbt-health-resources.page  American Medical Association

Lots of treatment guidelines, Making a welcoming clinic environment, Suicide prevention and Many topics


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