3rd Annual Cultural Competence Conference

image004Last Friday, March 28th, the TTUHSC El Paso Office of Diversity Affairs sponsored the 3rdAnnual Cultural Competence Conference at the DoubleTree Hotel.  This conference is the medical school’s premier educational activity through which it tries to focus on issues related to gender, race, cultural equity, and awareness in both professional education and patient care. The goal of the conference is to foster an environment that will enhance all interpersonal interactions within a health care system.  Over 120 TTUHSC at El Paso faculty, staff, residents, students, and representatives from local community clinics and organizations were in attendance.  This year’s conference was different from the past two in that more options were provided through three tracks:  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Health; Women in Healthcare and Science;  and Patient Advocacy.  Each of these tracks consisted of three concurrent sessions.

Keynote speaker was Leon McDougle, M.D., MPH, Chief Diversity Officer of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Chair of the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. McDougle provided an overview of diversity and how it applies to healthcare.  The sessions included in the LGBT track were: Transgender health, Providing culturally sensitive care to LGBT individuals and their families, and a LGBT patient panel discussing the impact of cultural competence on the quality of healthcare.

For the Women in Healthcare and Science Track, sessions included: Relationship-centered management skills, Negotiating difficult conversations, and Culturally competent mentoring.  Finally, the Patient Advocacy track included the following sessions:  Patient advocacy in the Latino/Hispanic population, Prison healthcare and the offender, and How to be an advocate for patients with mental illness.  The closing plenary was provided by Lorena Sprager, a health literacy expert, and Veronica Caro-Delgado, RN, MBA, a certified gastroenterology nurse and a qualified medical interpreter at the University Medical Center of El Paso, on the importance of providing appropriate interpretation services to fulfill the needs of the El Paso community’s patient population.

According to Jessica Calderon-Mora, senior director for the Office of Diversity Affairs, the conference was a great success.  “Participants were able to walk away equipped with the tools necessary to provide culturally competent care to a diverse population and can share this information with their colleagues,” she said. Others recognized for the conference’s success include Mayra Morales also of the Office of Diversity Affairs, the Department of Continuing Medical Education, the Planning Committee, and the Diversity Committee.

PowerPoint presentations for all sessions are available on the Office of Diversity Affairs website: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/fostersom/diversity/default.aspx

Next year’s Cultural Competence Conference will be held March 27, 2015.

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