PHC partners with Health Net on cultural competency education series

May 04, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Cultural Competency 

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC), in partnership with Health Net, today announced the launch of a seven-part cultural competency education series for California health care providers. The comprehensive series focuses on educating providers on how to deliver culturally competent care in diverse communities. The series will better equip providers to overcome health disparities that are driven by:

  • Language barriers
  • Misunderstanding of cultural concepts and practices
  • Unconscious bias in health care settings
  • Lower levels of health literacy

“Today’s coronavirus pandemic is continuing to expose the longstanding health disparities that exist among communities of color,” said Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., board secretary and treasurer for Physicians for a Healthy California. “Research shows that Black and Brown patients often have their pain and health concerns dismissed due to implicit and explicit biases.  To address these health disparities, we must continue to train our providers to ensure that they understand the physical, mental and cultural needs of our diverse population.” 

The Health Net-PHC cultural competency provider education series, developed by Health Net’s Health Disparity team, will be released monthly beginning with the topic of cultural awareness. The first educational document of the series—“Enhance Patient Care Through Better Cultural Awareness”—is now available.

Subsequent months will include topics with a cultural focus on:

  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Childhood immunizations
  • Women’s preventive care
  • Diabetes
  • Developmental and Physical disabilities
  • BIPOC and LGBTQ health care

“A key component to new care delivery models is the ability to engage and educate patients about their health status,” says Ramiro Zuniga, M.D., vice president and medical director of Medi-Cal at Health Net.  “While doing this is challenging with all patients, for diverse patient populations it can be even more difficult due to language barriers, cultural differences in communication styles and other factors.”

“We’re dedicated to the transformation of the communities we serve, one person at a time,” said Dr. Zuniga. “That transformation happens with a dedicated focus on improving quality outcomes year-over-year. However, our work never stops. Health Net remains committed to driving quality care and health equity even higher across the state. This new partnership is just one aspect of that broader goal.”


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