Creating Health Equity by Implementing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services

Hector R. Ortiz, PhD | Salon 1

President, H & R Communication and Consulting Services



The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS Standards) are the umbrella of three fundamental elements needed to create health equity: diversity, inclusion and cultural competence. Multicultural communication is a key factor to interact with diverse populations; the CLAS Standards are imperatives to better interact and communicate effectively with one another.

Diversity, inclusion and cultural competence are exceptional tools to create health equity in any health and human services setting. The utilization of the Enhanced National CLAS Standards reformulated in 2013 has a fundamental role in addressing the disproportion of health status and health outcomes in public health and health care. In this presentation, I will briefly describe the differences between culture, diversity, inclusion, cultural competence and health equity, including an overview of the CLAS Standards.


Learning objectives:

  • Recognize the importance and effect of using culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health and human services settings
  • Recognize the main principles
  • Understand the purpose and objectives of the CLAS standards
  • Recognize the difference between culture and diversity
  • Identify the value of inclusion
  • Recognize what health equity means



Bridging cultural gaps and eliminating barriers