Promoting Meaningful Access Through Education

Cultural Competence Resource Guide

Definition: Cultural competence refers to an ability to interact and communicate effectively with people of different cultures. The resources below focus on health and social service providers.



Anabaptists (includes Mennonites, Hutterites, Amish) – Information on birth control, infertility, abortion, euthanasia, living wills and organ donation

Center for Cultural Diversity on Ageing – Based in Australia, the Center’s website contains community, service provider, and multilingual support resources. Of special note is their service provider resource section which offers recommendations to support culturally responsive aged care service delivery.

Diversity RX has a list of current research findings in the field.

EurasiaHealth Knowledge Network – A multi-cultural health resource serving people of central and eastern European origin.

Hmong Health Website

Institute for Medical Quality obtained a California Endowment grant to train California medical practitioners in Cultural and Linguistic Competency.

National Alliance for Hispanic Health – This website provides information on Hispanic health issues with resources, political action, and community health information.

New Routes to Community Health develops media projects, such as videos and radio shows, that advocate for the health and well-being of immigrants and refugees living in the U.S.


Center for Research, Ethnicity, Culture, and Health – University of Michigan.

Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions – John’s Hopkin’s University

National Center for Cultural Competence – Contains information in English and Spanish about providing culturally competent services to those with special health care needs. Resources include assessment tools, policy briefs, and links to additional information.

CLAS self assessment tools – National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University

SPIRAL – Tufts University – Patient information in seven Asian languages.

Culture Clues – University of Washington – Tip sheets for clinicians working with diverse populations.

Multicultural Health Clearinghouse – University of Illinois – Fact sheets and resources for several minority groups.

Cultural Competence Online for Medical Practice – University of Alabama at Birmingham – Online continuing education modules and associated resources to reduce cardiovascular disparities.

Government Agencies and Regulations – Federal

Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) cultural competence resources include assessment tools, language and culture-specific guides as well as disease-specific information.

Transforming the Face of Health Professions – Through Cultural & Linguistic Competence Education: The Role of the HRSA Centers of Excellence – Online guide

The Office of Minority Health (DHHS) has many guides and resources.

Minority Women’s Health Issues (DHHS)

Bureau of Primary Health Care-Special Populations

National Library of Medicine – Asian American Health – Health resources, materials, and topics in 10 Asian languages

Medline Plus: Population Groups – Provides information about health within Native AmericanAfrican AmericanAsian American, and Hispanic American communities.

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (DHHS)-Health literacy and cultural competency research activities.


Court Appointed Special Advocates – Culture and Diversity Articles – relating to children and families of different ethnic and racial groups.

From the Commonwealth Fund:

The Role and Relationship of Cultural Competence and Patient Centeredness in Health Caredemonstrates the many parallels between patient-centeredness and cultural competency.

Taking Cultural Competency from Theory to Action provides principles and recommendations for implementing cultural competency at the organizational level.

Other Related Resources

Measuring Health Disparities– a free online course developed for the Michigan Public Health Training Center.

Cultural Comptence CME – Office of Minority Health – An online continuing education course (Physician’s Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care) offered freely by the Office of Minority Health.

Provider’s Guide to Quality and Culture– Offers health disparities modules

Unified Health Communication 101: Addressing Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Limited English Proficiency. A free online course through HRSA teaching patient-centered communication strategies.

A Manager’s Guide to Cultural Competence Education for Health Care Professionals – The California Endowment (2003)

2010 Conference Proceedings from DiversityRX: Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations

Cross Cultural Palliative Care NET – Through the BC Cancer Agency

Related Readings from CCHCP’s Can You Hear Me? Speaker Series

Listserves and Current Awareness

Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum

CLAS-Talk, from DiversityRX

Cultural and Linguistic Competence (CLC) Community of Practice Listserv

GlobalRN, hosted by the Nursing School at the University of California, San Francisco

Listserve for multi-cultural health, hosted by the Office of Multicultural Health in Oregon.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for searching

Cultural competency, Cultural diversity, Cultural competence, Cultural characteristics, Ethnic groups