Institutions of Higher Education Report:
Cultural Competency Training and Other Health Disparities Reduction Activities
Request for Public Comment on Report Template
Legislation signed into law earlier this year by Governor Martin O’Malley requires health professional training programs in Maryland to report on their cultural competency and health literacy curriculum for students and other activities that focus on reducing health disparities in communities throughout the state.
* Cultural competency is a set of behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations. Unaddressed cultural differences between patients and health professionals have been shown to contribute to poor health outcomes through misunderstandings, value conflicts, and differing concepts of health and illness.
* Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Limited health literacy is recognized as contributing to health disparities as a consequence of poor understanding of health information and how to navigate the healthcare system.
* A health disparity is a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group in relation to another group.
Training and other activities by higher education institutions to address the issues above are of significance to the students who receive the training, the healthcare employers that hire the trained health professionals, and most importantly the communities that are served by these professionals. Higher education institutions with health professional training programs will be required to submit reports on cultural competency and disparities reduction activities beginning in December 2012.
Click here, to view the report template, which is in draft form to solicit public comment to help guide the collection of information.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will accept public comment on the document until September 15, 2012.
Please e-mail public comments to Ms. Monica McCann at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and type “School Report Template” in e-mail subject line.