The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) has published a compendium of state-sponsored activities and an interactive map listing state legislative activities implementing its National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). This is the first comprehensive listing of all these state-level activities. The interactive map displays both enacted and pending state legislation in each state related to CLAS.
The compendium includes 172 activities from 32 states, including assessments, adoption of policies, integration into state-level planning, collaborations, dissemination of information, training, and technical assistance activities. Based on its review of these state-level activities, OMH recommends:
- Increase the depth, clarity, and concrete action steps in strategic planning for National CLAS Standards implementation.
2. Make needs assessments a priority, use them to drive strategic planning and activities for National CLAS Standards implementation, and conduct them frequently enough to permit course-correction if activities are not meeting identified needs.
3. Incorporate evaluation of patient and population outcomes, in addition to evaluation of process measures, into National CLAS Standards implementation.
4. Assess the extent to which cultural and linguistic competency efforts are guided by the comprehensive framework of the National CLAS Standards.
5. Consider ways to streamline dissemination of National CLAS Standards implementation activities by using the National CLAS Standards as a framework for organizing all CLAS activities and developing a website that combines resources, reports, and strategic plans.
OMH has yet to compile and publish a similar compendium of activities by HHS’ own operating and staff divisions’ activities implementing CLAS.