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Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Maternal Health Care

Understand, Respect and Respond

Interested in improving the quality of care you provide to participants? Looking for training that targets understanding, respecting, and responding to experiences, values, and beliefs? Culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) is a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. 

Among the CLAS resources is the CLAS in Maternal Health Care e-learning program, a free, 2-hour program designed for providers seeking knowledge and skills related to cultural competency, cultural humility, person-centered care, and combating implicit bias across the continuum of maternal health care.

CLAS can be a critical lever for improving quality when providing services.

The four modules cover general practices and activities that are applicable in various settings and appropriate for various audiences, including WIC staff: social determinants of health, implicit bias, the impact of racism on the health and maternal health outcomes of pregnant and post-partum women of color, and ways to advance health equity and help to eliminate disparities.

Module 1 examines the role of CLAS in improving quality and eliminating disparities in maternal health care.

Module 2 focuses on becoming more aware of your beliefs and values, as well as your privilege, power, bias, and stereotypes.

Module 3 reviews how and why to get to know a patient’s cultural identity.

Module 4 explores ways to deliver respectful, compassionate, high quality care that responds to patients’ experiences, values, beliefs, and preferences.

Included with the program (after creating a user account) are resources, including handouts, videos, and a library with links to relevant websites.

This program is accredited for 2 hours for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, certified nurse midwives, and certified midwives. Other professionals, as well as students, may earn a Statement of Participation.


Additional CLAS Resources and Information

Other resources on the Think Cultural Health website include recorded presentations and video case studies, as well as resources in a number of languages (Spanish, Mandarin or Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tagalog (Filipino)), such as:

National CLAS Standards – a set of 15 action steps intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice - an implementation guide for the National CLAS Standards. It explains each Standard’s purpose, components, and strategies for implementation. It also offers additional resources to learn more about each Standard.


Additional Related Resources

Communicating with WIC Participants – a WIC Learning Online course focusing on the provision of good customer service, communicating with limited literacy audiences, and working in a multicultural environment.

Confronting Your Assumptions - a WIC Learning Online course covering what assumptions are, how different kinds of assumptions may be challenged, and the importance of seeking out other people's perspectives.

Nutrition Services Standards – a list of standards focusing on core elements that are essential to providing high quality nutrition services, including quality assurance elements, a quality improvement standard, and a self-assessment tool for State and local agencies

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