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Cultural Competency

Valuing, embracing and implementing cultural competency and diversity within our organization


What is cultural competency?

Cultural competency refers to the ongoing and intentional attainment of skills that allow an individual to function effectively when interacting with people who have different backgrounds and experiences.
 
The goal of cultural competency is not to change your core values or beliefs, but rather to provide you with the skills needed to work with and assist people who may have different life perspectives than you. People who are well versed in culturally competency are able to better assist Delta Dental’s members, while at the same time maintaining their own personal identities.


How does cultural competency impact me in my position?

While performing services as either an employee of Delta Dental or as a provider participating in one of Delta Dental’s networks, you may encounter people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including individuals with: various income levels and education; different races and ethnicities; physical, emotional or behavioral disabilities; different ages; various sexual and gender identities; and different religious or spiritual backgrounds.

As such, you will need to:
  • Remember that race, ethnicity, gender, spirituality and other issues may play a role in an individual’s health care decisions;
  • Understand the community you serve and the different cultures contained in it;
  • Practice cultural etiquette by being respectful of others’ beliefs and values;
  • Be empathic. Have the ability to identify and reflect another person’s emotions; and
  • Be open-minded.

Cultural Competency Skills


Awareness of your own culture—Self-knowledge increases your sensitivity to differences. Recognizing your own cultural uniqueness, and how that impacts your daily life, allows you to see the cultural uniqueness in others.
           
Learn to accept differences—Acceptance does not mean changing the way you see the world. Acceptance means understanding that other people may view the world differently than you do and being welcoming and accepting of people in light of those differences.

Seek to understand the history and experience of others—Know and learn the history of others.

Know your stereotypes and biases—Knowledge and acceptance of personal stereotypes and biases reduces the likelihood of their use.
     
Recognize barriers to care—In some instances, individuals may not seek services due to their background and/or beliefs.

For more resources and further education, please visit:


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/ (refer to SE0621.pdf)

Think Cultural Health www.thinkculturalhealth.org/

Community resources (food, housing, support, jobs, etc.) www.211.org

National Association for Area Agencies on Aging (N42) www.n4a.org

US HHS Office of Minority Health (CLAS) minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=15