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Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals

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What is this e-learning program?

This is a new, comprehensive e-learning continuing education program for oral health professionals brought to you by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). This e-learning program represents part of OMH's contribution to the larger HHS Oral Health Initiative, and focuses on the development of fundamental knowledge and skills related to providing oral health care and services to culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The program will not only offer oral health professionals an opportunity to earn continuing education credits at no cost, but it will be the first e-learning program completely based on the enhanced National CLAS Standards.

Why complete this e-learning program?

This program can provide you with the basic knowledge and skills related to cultural and linguistic competency, based on HHS Office of Minority Health's enhanced National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (the National CLAS Standards)1. The three courses introduce you to the fundamentals of cultural and linguistic competency and its relevance to in oral health care. Ultimately, incorporating this knowledge and skills into your daily practices will help you offer high quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the increasingly diverse patient population. Knowing how to better work with racial and ethnic minority populations can help promote innovation and improves your ability to connect with a diverse patient population, which are key facilitators of business success 2. This program can help you begin to learn how to work with culturally diverse patients in an appropriate, respectful manner.

This e-learning program...

Can help you understand, identify and address oral health disparities. There are significant differences in who accesses oral health care, and there are significant differences in the condition, awareness and treatment of individuals from different groups even after accessing oral health care.3,4

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health [HHS OMH]. (2012). National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health and health care: A blueprint for advancing and sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice. Retrieved from

2 Brach, C., & Fraser, I. (2002). Reducing disparities through culturally competent health care: An analysis of the business case. Quality Management in Health Care, 10, 15-28.

3 Kressin, N.R. (2005). Racial/ethnic disparities in health care: Lessons from medicine for dentistry. Journal of Dental Education, 69, 998-1002.

4 Chattophadhyay, A. (2008). Oral health disparities in the United States. The Dental Clinics of North America, 52, 297-318.