The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso Office of Diversity Affairs sponsored the Fourth Annual Cultural Competence Conference last Friday, March 27 at the Wyndham Hotel. “The conference is one of our premier educational activities in which we focus on issues related to gender, race, cultural equity, and awareness in both professional education and patient care,” said Jessica Calderón-Mora, senior director for the Office of Diversity Affairs. The goal of the conference was to foster an environment that enhances all interpersonal interactions within a health care system and academic environment. Approximately 120 TTUHSC El Paso faculty, staff, residents, students, and representatives from local community clinics and organizations attended.
This year’s conference included the following three tracks: Beyond Traditional Medicine – Horizons of Alternative Health Care Models, Aging Gracefully Through Cultural Competence, and Breaking the Barriers on the Road to Diversity in an Academic Environment. Each of these tracks consisted of three concurrent sessions. The conference also incorporated a poster session during lunch. The 11 entries from individuals representing TTUHSC El Paso, the University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University focused on various research studies pertaining to diversity and inclusion.
Keynote speaker Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D., vice chancellor for diversity at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center Office for Diversity and associate dean for diversity at the UNM School of Medicine in Albuquerque, discussed a business case for diversity and demonstrated the value of diversity and the return on diversity investment, as well as discussed diversity best practices in the El Paso area.
The sessions encompassed in the Alternative Health Care Models track included: Integrative Medicine, Nutrition, and Promotores/Community Health Worker model. For the Aging Population track, sessions included: Cultural Competence at the End of Life, Application of Cultural Competency in the Care of Alzheimer’s Patients, and the Frailty Scale. Finally, the Breaking the Barriers on the Road to Diversity in an Academic Environment track included the following sessions: How to Manage Diversity in Student Body, How to Teach for a Culturally Competent World, and Models of Diversity and Inclusion from the Corporate World. The closing panel session entitled, “Health, Ethics, Spirituality, and Value-Based Health Care Management” was moderated by Fatima Aly, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics. The panel was comprised of Rodrigo Ceballos, M.D., Yvonne Davila, MSN, and Sr. Janet Gildea, M.D. The panel provided their perspectives on various vignettes pertaining to controversial health care topics.
“Participants found the conference to be useful and informative and walked away with a sense of increased knowledge in cultural competence,” said Calderón-Mora. “Participants also felt as if they learned about models of diversity that could be applied to their respective institutions and shared with colleagues.”
The PowerPoint presentations for all sessions can be found on the TTUHSC El Paso Office of Diversity Affairs website at http://www.ttuhsc.edu/fostersom/diversity/default.aspx.
Next year’s Cultural Competence Conference will take place on February 26, 2016.