Cross Cultural and Diversity Inclusiveness Training Program Launched

Saint Francis Center for Health Equity, Hispanic Health Council and the Connecticut Hospital Association Collaborate To Offer Two-Day Program 

(Hartford, Conn. June 5, 2013) – To help hospitals improve cultural competency in the delivery of care, Saint Francis Center for Health Equity, the Hispanic Health Council and the Connecticut Hospital Association will jointly host a two-session program designed to better enable healthcare providers to effectively interact with patients of diverse backgrounds. 

The Cross Cultural & Diversity Inclusiveness Training program provided by the Hispanic Health Council is open to clinical, operational, and administrative leaders and professional support staff.  It will be offered at the Innovation and Learning Center at Saint Francis in Hartford on June 7th and 14th. The program is a component of the CHA Diversity Collaborative within which more than 50 participants have attended during recent months.  

“The Hispanic Health Council’s training is designed to provide the foundation of knowledge, attitudes and skills for effective interaction with diverse patient populations,” said Jose Ortiz, President and CEO of the Hispanic Health Council. “The development of cultural competence is a profound, lifelong journey that involves profound transformation of individuals and the institutions in which they work. We are pleased to be part of this partnership, which will help facilitate some of that profound transformation.”  

“Addressing health disparities begins with education,” said Marcus McKinney, D. Min., LPC, Vice President, Community Health Equity and Health Policy at the Saint Francis Center for Health Equity. “We cannot begin to resolve health disparities until we know the communities we are trying to serve. Better conversations between healthcare providers and patients lead to better outcomes.” 

 “Connecticut hospitals are committed to achieving health equity, increasing diversity, and eliminating health disparities. Cultural competence education is essential to fostering a culture that embraces the diversity among caregivers and patients,” said Marie Spivey, EdD, RN, Vice President, Health Equity, Connecticut Hospital Association.  “This program will greatly benefit diverse populations in Connecticut, and result in raising awareness of our understanding of the need to reduce health disparities, improve health and healthcare outcomes of vulnerable populations, and lower costs.” 

During the program, participants will be asked to examine their own heritage and identity in order to explore how personal cultural values, assumptions and beliefs influence the delivery of care. Participants will also explore the impact of stereotyping and blaming the victim in patient-provider interactions, and develop communication skills to address differences in perspectives that can surface in the context of providing healthcare services to diverse patient populations. 

CHA, along with member hospitals, developed the Diversity Collaborative in 2011 to achieve health equity, increase diversity, and eliminate health disparities.  The first-in-the-nation collaborative has been recognized as a national model.  One essential element of this program is cross-cultural education of healthcare professionals as a strategy to eliminate these disparities. 

The Saint Francis Center for Health Equity works with grassroots neighborhood organizations, caregivers, health professionals, researchers, foundations, state agencies and others to eliminate health disparities in the communities it serves. 

About Saint Francis Care 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897.  Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England.  Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners.  Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner.  Its services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region.  For more information, visit 

About CHA  

The Connecticut Hospital Association has been dedicated to serving Connecticut’s hospitals since 1919. Through state and federal advocacy, CHA represents the interests of Connecticut’s hospitals on key healthcare issues in the areas of quality and patient safety, access and coverage, workforce, community health, diversity, and hospital reimbursement. 

About the Hispanic Health Council 

Founded in 1978, the Hispanic Health Council is dedicated to the mission of improving the health and well being of Latinos and all diverse communities. HHC has worked with numerous clinical, community and academic groups in Connecticut for the past 35 years to teach the skills needed to deliver culturally competent care.