Hamilton Health Sciences
Building Cultural Competency in Practice

Building Cultural Competencey in Practice

Background Information & Cultural / Community Profiles

A Providers Guide to Qualilty and Culture

This site provides profiles of African Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Central Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Muslims, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and South Asians.(United States)

American Medical Student Association-Diversity

AMSA strives to cultivate a tolerant, accepting and culturally diverse physician workforce, which can effectively serve our multi-cultural society. This site contains resources and case studies used in student training and building awareness. Links are provided to resources targeting specific ethnic groups (African, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern) (United States)

Asian American Health

This is a health information portal developed for Asian Americans. This web resource, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, is designed to increase public awareness of the health concerns of these important minority groups. Links are provided to an assortment of documents, web sites, databases, and other resources. (United States)

Canadian Nurses Association: Promoting Culturally Competent Care

This is a position statement on cultural competence produced by the Canadian Nurses' Association.  Included are key concepts, responsibilities and a background pertaining to nursing practice and cultural competence.(Canada)

Cross Cultural Palliative Care NET

This website provides resources on palliative care in a cross cultural context.(Canada)

Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers

This resource is a collaborative effort between Champlain Valley Health Education Center in Vermont and the University of Vermont AHEC's Freeman Medical Scholars Program. It was designed for health care providers to support the promotion of cultural competency in their practice.  Emphasis is placed on cultural competency and what it means, delivering culturally competent care and effective communication strategies when dealing with diverse cultural backgrounds. This resource provides useful information on specific refugee and immigrant populations including: Somalis, Congolese, Sudanese, Vietnamese, Bosnian & Herzegovina, and Meskhetian Turks.  Links are also provided to other useful multi-ethnic health resources for health care practitioners. (United States)

Cultural Profiles Project

This website was funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  It features overviews of life and culture in many countries and was developed to assist Canadians in understanding immigrants.(Canada)

Culture Cues

This site provides tip sheets for clinicians, designed to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients from the diverse cultures served by University of Washington Medical Center. (United States)

Cultures West-Newsletter

Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC newsletter with many articles and case studies. (Canada)

Epilepsy Ontario: Multicultural Outreach Project

The Multicultural Outreach Project focuses on learning about the different cultural views withheld in various communities in order to create cultural awareness among physicians and counsellors working with patients diagnosed with epilepsy. Information is provided about epilepsy in several ethnic communities including the: African American community, Chinese community, Latin community, South Asian community and Canadian Aboriginal community.(Ontario, Canada)

Guide to Arab Culture:  Health Care Delivery to the Arab American Community

This publication provides a guide to Arab culture to assist in the provision of effective and sensitive health care to Arabic speaking patients. It is designed specifically for health care providers and includes information on the health care systems and beliefs of Arab countries and provides an overview of the history, customs and culture that might influence health care provision to Arabic speaking communities. (United States)

Multi-Cultural Palliative Care Guidelines-(Palliative Care Council of South Australia, Inc.)

This site provides information on caring for dying patients in regards to general beliefs on family involvement, words to avoid when discussing death, burial customs, religion, attitudes towards pain , relief and more. The groups they provide information about are: Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Macedonian, Maltese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. (Australia)

Multi-faith Guide for Health Care Professionals

This guide was developed by the Spiritual and Religious Care Department at Hamilton Health Sciences.  It provides information on religious beliefs and practices as they relate to health care. This guide reflects the religious traditions of populations of the greater Hamilton, Ontario region. (Hamilton,Canada)

Multicultural Health Clearinghouse

This website provides health and wellness information for underrepresented population groups. (United States)

National Alliance for Hispanic Health

This website provides health information, publications, news and reports targeting Hispanic communities. (United States)

National Cancer Institute

This web page features cancer information targeted to different ethnic/racial audiences. (United States)

National Heart Lung & Blood Institute

This website features publications on cardiovascular health pertaining to selected ethnic groups.  Information is aimed at the public.  (United States)

National Heart Lung & Blood Institute

This website features publications on cardiovascular health pertaining to selected ethnic groups.  Information is aimed at health professionals. (United States)

Neighborhood Health Profiles

These profiles provide general information about the health and social characteristics of neighbourhoods in Hamilton and are intended for home care service providers and other community health and social service organizations. The profiles include information on population demographics, socio-economic status, health and health care utilization. Each neighbourhood is compared to the City of Hamilton, as a whole, and to the Province of Ontario, where possible. There is a final profile comparing neighbourhoods to each other and to Hamilton.(Ontario, Canada)

Statistics Canada: Health Profile

This online database features community-level data from a number of sources including Statistics Canada's health surveys, administrative data, and the census of population. The application is designed to give quick access to the latest health-related data available for a selected health region. (Canada)

South Asian Heart Center

This website provides information on coronary heart disease among South Asians. (United States)

South Asian Health Project

This website provides health information targeting South Asians. (United States)

The Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA)

This Australian based advocacy organization promotes the rights of people from non-English speaking backgrounds with disability, their families and carers. Information on specific ethnic communities and disability is featured.(Australia)

Transcultural Nursing-Resources and Case Studies

This site was developed to share with nurses and other healthcare professional's experiences and thoughts concerning the complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This site contains a range of cultural behaviours and the need to understand people's actions from their own cultural perspective in health and illness. (United States)

Toronto Community Health Profiles Partnership 

A partnership designed to facilitate access to information on the health status, demographic composition, diversity and socioeconomic status of communities in Toronto for health planning. The overall goal is to use this information to understand the health needs of communities and help reduce health inequalities.(Ontario, Canada)


Guidelines, Models, Interventions & Best Practices

A Guide to Choosing and Adapting Culturally and Linguistically Competent Health Promotion Materials

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on how to ensure that health promotion materials reflect the principles and practices of cultural and linguistic competence. The guide is designed to be used by a variety of audiences, including: those who implement health promotion activities and want to ensure cultural and linguistic competence; community organizations that want to address health issues and public health officials and funders who want to assure that health promotion activities they support are culturally and linguistically competent. (United States)

American Psychological Association: Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations

The American Psychological Association has produced guidelines that represent general principles intended to provide suggestions to psychologists who work with ethnic, linguistic, and culturally diverse populations and want to improve their cultural competency skills. (United States)

Assuring Health Care Equity: A Health Care Equity Blueprint

This report offers strategies and practices that can be tailored to an individual hospital to address equity in providing quality care. The Blueprint is a starting point for designing and implementing interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Aspects of the Blueprint apply to numerous health care settings, but the primary focus is on hospitals. The Blueprint should be considered as a guidance tool to be improved and modified by hospitals that use it.  (United States)  

Bridging the Cultural Divide in Health Care Settings: The Essential Role of Cultural Broker Programs

This is a guide developed by the National Center for Cultural Competence to assist health care organizations in planning, implementing, and sustaining cultural broker programs. Specifically this guide introduces the legitimacy of cultural brokering in health care delivery to underserved populations; promotes cultural brokering as an essential approach to increasing access to care and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health; defines the values, characteristics, knowledge, and skills required of a cultural broker; and provides guidance on establishing and sustaining a cultural broker program for health care settings tailored to the needs and preferences of communities served. This guide can serve as a resource to organizations and agencies that are interested in partnering with health care organizations to enhance the health and well-being of multiethnic communities.  (United States)  

College of Nurses of Ontario: Culturally Sensitive Care

This is a practical guide developed by the College of Nurses of Ontario to help prepare nurses for providing culturally sensitive care.  This guide offers real scenarios to illustrate the concepts and approaches associated with providing culturally sensitive care. The five elements of providing culturally sensitive care discussed include: Self-reflection, Acquiring cultural knowledge, How to reflect on your cultural beliefs and values and Facilitating client choice and communication.  This guide also provides recommendations on how to develop a culturally sensitive approach to care in practice settings. (Ontario, Canada)

Culture Counts: A Roadmap to Health Promotion

This is a "Best Practices" guide for developing health promotion initiatives for mental health and substance use with ethno-cultural communities.  It provides culturally appropriate approaches to meet the health promotion needs of ethno-cultural communities. This guide is intended for anyone working for a mainstream agency or organization who is considering undertaking a health promotion initiative with ethno-cultural communities. While it focuses on mental health and substance use issues, this guide describes approaches that can be applied to almost any type of health promotion initiative aimed at ethno-cultural communities. (Canada)

Cultural Competency in Health: A Guide for Policy, Partnerships and Participation

This guide was developed by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. It provides a model for cultural competency as a way to improve health in multiethnic communities. The guide aims to increase cultural competency for the benefit of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It uses the issue of overweight and obesity to illustrate the model. The guide acknowledges diverse views of cultural competency, using feedback from a consultation process to highlight current debates in Australia and internationally. (Australia)

Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks & Practical Approaches

This resource was a collaborative effort of health care professionals from Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University.    It was developed to evaluate current definitions of cultural competence and identify benefits to the health care system by reviewing the medical literature and interviewing health care experts in government, managed care, academia, and community health care delivery. This report sets out to identify models of culturally competent care, determine key components of cultural competence, develop recommendations to implement culturally competent interventions and improve the quality of health care. (United States)

Culturally Competent Health Care Systems

This peer reviewed article provides a systematic review of culturally competent health care systems. Five interventions to improve cultural competence in healthcare systems are described.  They include: programs to recruit and retain staff members who reflect the cultural diversity of the community served, use of interpreter services or bilingual providers for clients with limited English proficiency, cultural competency training for healthcare providers, use of linguistically and culturally appropriate health education materials, and culturally specific healthcare settings. (United States)

Cultural Diversity: Changes & Challenges

This is a weblink to a publication produced by the Canadian Nurse's Association on cultural diversity and cultural competency in nursing practice.  Recommendations for nurses are provided to improve responsiveness to culture at various levels. (Canada)

Delivering Culturally Effective Care to Adolescents

This workbook was developed by the American Medical Association to give health care providers practical information to enhance communication with adolescent patients. It offers recommendations for delivering individualized health care that is culturally sensitive. (United States)

Embracing Cultural Diversity in Health Care: Developing Cultural Competence

This is a Nursing Best Practice Guideline developed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario as part of the "The Healthy Work Environments (HWE) Best Practice Guidelines (BPG)" initiative.  While placing an emphasis on understanding cultural competency, this guideline is designed to support health care organizations and health care professionals in creating and sustaining positive work environments. Individual recommendations for learning to embrace diversity, develop communication skills and attain cultural competence are provided.  Tools for developing cultural competency skills are also suggested in Appendix E. (Ontario, Canada)

Food Guidelines by Country

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations features food-based dietary guidelines from different countries. (United Nations)

Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin: Multicultural Health

This is a publication on the practice of multicultural heath in Canada.  This feature introduces strategies to promote multicultural health. (Ontario, Canada)

Promoting Prevention for Healthy Communities: The National Asian American Immunization Project (NAWHO)

The Promoting Prevention for Healthy Communities Toolkit is a compendium of the "best practices" developed by NAWHO. Its purpose is to provide practical data-supported guidance for how to design, implement, and evaluate an effective immunization initiative for Asian American communities, consolidated into a user-friendly, hands-on structure. This toolkit has been designed for use by any agency or organization interested in launching an immunization education and service-delivery initiative for Asians in their community. (United States)

Royal College of Nursing: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The Royal College of Nursing has developed an educational resource about female genital mutilation for nurses and midwives.  It provides basic background information about FGM and describes the health consequences and clinical issues associated with this practice. Emphasis is also placed on human rights and legal issues as well as professional responsibilities.(United Kingdom)


Support Tools for Health Care Providers

Alzheimer's Asociation

This website features Diversity Resources developed for people with dementia, family and friends, and health and social service professionals. Included are: educational materials for diverse communities, multicultural outreach tips and culturally appropriate clinical assessment tools. (United States)

American Lung Association

This webpage features smoking fact sheets targeting various ethnic populations. (United States)

Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness

This web based resource tool provides links to contributor's web sites containing Asian or Pacific Islander cancer education materials. The materials referenced have been screened by the contributing organizations/programs for medical accuracy and cultural relevance. (United States)

Better Communication, Better Care: Provider's Tools to Care for Diverse Populations

Produced by a nationwide team of healthcare professionals in the United States, this kit contains background information and tools to assist service providers to deliver culturally competent healthcare. It is organised into four sections: Interaction with a Diverse Patient Base; Communication across Language Barriers; Understanding Patients from Various Cultural Backgrounds; and References and Resources. (United States)

Canadian Diabetes Association

As part of their online "Resource Library", the Canadian Diabetes Association provides educator materials for health professionals who serve South Asian populations. They include background information, a glossary of terms, FAQs, the carbohydrate content of some common foods in the South Asian diet and downloadable images of south Asian food in different languages. People of South Asian descent include those who are from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and may speak Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, Gujarati, and Urdu, among many other languages. (Canada)

Center for Cultural Diversity in Aging

This organization aims to ensure the needs of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are identified and addressed. Under "National Resources" information and resources can be found to support culturally responsive aged care service delivery. Multilingual resources are also available to facilitate the provision of quality aged care information in the preferred language of clients. (Australia)

Center for Culture, Ethnicity & Health

This Australia based organization provides information and support tools on cultural diversity and wellbeing.  They provide a wide range of resources and publications for health care providers that are available for download free of charge. These include research reports, tip sheets, multilingual brochures and DVDs.  Their multicultural health and support service provides education, information and support on issues of sexual health, HIV/AIDS and blood borne viruses.  Online information is directed at refugee communities (men, women and adolescents) and health care providers. (Australia)

Cultural Competence Guide for Primary Care Professionals in Nova Scotia

This guide includes tools and resources such as self assessment questionnaires and useful patient/client encounter questions to assist primary health care professionals in providing culturally competent health care. (Canada)

Culturally Inclusive Health Assessment

This tool provides points for health care providers to consider when working with clients from culturally diverse backgrounds (Australia)

Diabetes UK: Fasting & Diabetes

This website provides information on how to manage diabetes safely while fasting as well as information about the possible dangers of fasting and diabetes.  Also featured are Ramadan calendars with messages about diabetes and fasting. Diabetes information is also provided in several languages.  Information on Ramadan and diabetes is provided in English and other languages. (United Kingdom)

Diversity and Alberta Health Services

This provincial health website provides information on diversity and multicultural health programs in Alberta.  An online diversity competency self assessment, useful for health professionals engaged with multiethnic populations, is available under "Diversity Resources". Multilingual health information can be found under "Health Information for Diverse Populations."  (Alberta, Canada)

Establishing Collaborative Initiatives between Mental Health and Primary Care Services for Ethnocultural Populations

This toolkit was developed by the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative.  The purpose of the toolkit is to assist service providers and other key stakeholders to work collaboratively to meet the mental health needs of ethnocultural populations. (Canada)

Intercultural Cancer Center

The Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) promotes policies, programs, partnerships, and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations in the United States. Cancer facts for specific ethnic/racial populations are featured.(United States)

Latino Cardiovascular Health Resources

This website provides education materials pertaining to cardiovascular health for patients and the general public, as well as resources for health program planners and health professionals.  Resources have been developed specifically for Latino communities. (United States)

Multicultural Health Resources-BC

A database of Multicultural Health publications has been developed as a service for AMSSA members and the general public. This database can be searched by typing in the field search form one or more key words which are included in the title, author's name and / or summary of the multicultural health publications. (Canada)

National Center for Cultural Competence

The mission of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health programs to design, implement and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems.  Links are provided to valuable cultural competency resources and tools for health care professionals. (United States)

National Diabetes Education Program: Power to Prevent

This educational resource developed by the National Diabetes Education Program is a curriculum designed to help educate African American communities on how to prevent and control diabetes through healthy eating and physical activity. It is intended for community-based health organizations, faith-based communities, diabetes educators, and other community program leaders. (United States)

One Size Does Not Meet All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of a Diverse Population

This report was developed through research initiative by the Joint Commission - an American based non profit health care accreditation and certification organization. It provides a framework for hospitals and other health care organizations to develop and employ practices for meeting the patient needs of a culturally diverse population. The report also includes a self-assessment tool that organizations can use to initiate discussions about the needs, resources, and goals for providing the highest quality care to every patient served.

Program for Multicultural Health- University of Michigan Health System

The University of Michigan Health System created the Program for Multicultural Health in 1993 to help improve accessibility to and utilization of quality health care by underserved multicultural populations. An extensive list of tools and resources are available for download from this website. See 'Tools and Resources' under "Cultural Competency". (United States)

Queensland Health: Multicultural Health Support Tools for Health Care Professionals

This site provides links to a series of practice tools, handbooks and resources for health care professionals working with culturally diverse populations. Of particular use to health care professionals are the following resources that are available for download: 1. Cultural Diversity: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2. Health Care Provider's Handbook on Muslim Patients, 3. Providing Care to Patients from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds: Guidelines to Practice. (Australia)

The Center for Cross Cultural Health

The Center for Cross-Cultural Health helps those who provide health care, and those who work to improve health, to integrate cultural understanding into their activities through the use of culturally competent products and tools. In particular this website provides training modules for health care professionals and organizations seeking to improve their cultural and linguistic knowledge and skills. This site also offers culturally sensitive and culturally competent educational materials pertaining to cancer and HIV/AIDS, information on working with Somali immigrant women, community profiles of diverse ethnic groups and information on cultural competency for health care providers. (United States)

Understanding Cultural Diversity in Mental Health

This manual produced by Multicultural Mental Health Australia is a cultural awareness tool for health and mental health practitioners. It is designed as a first step in developing cultural competence and improved understanding of what it means to provide culturally sensitive care. (Australia)


Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.