UD Seal

Professional & Continuing Studies

Improving Cultural Competence for Health Care Professionals Certificate


Improving Cultural Competence for Health Care Professionals Certificate

February 13, 2017
6-7:30 p.m., Newark, Del.

The info session is free—RSVP requested


Improve your ability to interact effectively with a diverse patient population

Our community is changing and so are our patients. By the year 2060, counties in Delaware will rank among the top 6% most diverse communities in the nation. Are you ready to provide culturally sensitive, high-quality care to our diverse community?

This program is designed for professionals working in health care to acquire the knowledge, skills and insights to reduce errors, increase quality outcomes and minimize cost when providing health care services to an increasingly diverse community.


  • Clinical staff including physicians, physician assistants/advanced practice nurses, dentists and dental hygienists, nurses, counselors, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and activity directors
  • Health care administrators
  • Anyone interested in learning about the intersection of culture and health care

PRICE:  $2,195, all program materials included. Discounts and financial assistance options available.

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT:  Register and pay in full by February 13, 2017 to receive a 10% discount.


  • Location—University of Delaware, 501 S. College Ave., Room 112, Newark, DE 19713
  • Schedule—Mondays, March 6-May 22, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
  • Parking—Students must purchase a University of Delaware Night and Weekend Monthly Parking Permit. The cost is $15 per month, and it may be purchased online via UD’s Parking Portal. If this is your first time obtaining a UD parking permit, you will need to create a guest account.


This 12-week program focuses on equipping students with a strong foundation in cultural competence.  At the end of this program, students will have extensive knowledge of the legal requirements, policies, regulations, communication skills, self-awareness related to diversity, and best practices for culturally responsive health care and health equity.

The Improving Cultural Competence for Health Care Professionals program equips learners with the awareness, knowledge and skills to improve care for an increasingly diverse patient population. Participants begin with an assessment of their own perceptions, beliefs and biases. As they advance through the curriculum participants learn how to interact more effectively in cross-cultural encounters by developing insights, communication skills and strategies to best serve patients with unique care needs.

While examining complex concepts related to culture, race, sexuality, disability, aging and spirituality participants will acquire a practical skill set that will significantly impact their ability to deliver health care in order to prepare for increasing patient diversity. At the end of the course, students will have completed an action plan.

At the end of the 12-week program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the changing cultural composition of the United States and how shifting demographics are transforming health care.
  • Argue the business case for pursuing health equity.
  • Recognize personal beliefs, biases and attitudes related to diversity.
  • Define how unconscious bias is a cause of disparate health outcomes.
  • Identify cultural barriers through the experience of participating in a simulation of cross cultural interaction.
  • Describe the legal and regulatory requirements for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care.
  • Use communication skills for fostering positive therapeutic alliances with diverse patients including valuing and incorporating the patients’ beliefs and understanding into diagnosis, treatment options and preventive health.
  • Identify best practices for addressing disparities and providing culturally responsive care for various populations including racial and ethnic groups, members of the LGBTQ community, individuals with various forms of disability and older adults.
  • Develop an action plan that employs a cultural competence perspective to improve health outcomes, financial viability and patient experience.

The program will also consist of guest speakers, virtual visits, and an interactive cross-cultural simulation.


Class meets Monday evenings, 6-9 p.m. in Newark, Del. (classroom location to be determined).

  • March 6, 2017—Introduction to Cultural Competence in Health Care—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • March 13, 2017—Health Equity and Health Disparities—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • March 20, 2017 —Starting with the Self: The Experience of Cultural Difference—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • March 27, 2017—Building Blocks: Bias—Dana Beckton
  • April 3, 2017—Ethnicity, Culture and Spirituality—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • April 10, 2017—Ethnicity, Culture and Spirituality—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • April 17, 2017—Communication: Language Access—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • April 24, 2017—Sexual Orientation: LGBTQ—Karla Bell, Tim Rodden
  • May 1, 2017—Disabilities—Eileen Sparling
  • May 8, 2017—Aging/Older Adults—Denise Lyons
  • May 15, 2017—Communication: Health Literacy—Jacqueline Ortiz
  • May 22, 2017—Action Plan Presentations—Jacqueline Ortiz


  • Dana Beckton, Director, Diversity and Inclusion/Employee Development, Christiana Care Health System
  • Karla Bell, Associate Director, Clinical Education and Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy; Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Faculty Staff Caucus, University of Delaware
  • Denise Lyons, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontology Nursing; WISH/NICHE Program Coordinator, Christiana Care Health System
  • Jacqueline Ortiz, Director of Cultural Competence and Language Services, Christiana Care Health System
  • Tim Rodden, Director of Pastoral Services; System Coordinator of LGBTQ Health Initiatives, Christiana Care Health System
  • Eileen Sparling, Program Manager, Disabilities Studies, Center for Disabilities Studies, University of Delaware

University of Delaware • Division of Professional and Continuing Studies
Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-7600  •  E-mail: continuing-ed@udel.edu  •  Follow us: