Cultural Competency and Health Literacy Primer

Monica McCann, Olivia Carter-Pokras, Bonnie Braun and Carlessia A. Hussein
Date of Publication: 
March, 2013
Source Organization: 

In 2012, Maryland enacted a law requiring attention to cultural competency and health literacy in the curricula of health profession degree programs. Cultural Competency and Health Literacy Primer is intended to help health educators, students, and practicing health professionals learn how to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes through culturally-sensitive and effective communication with patients across the various health disciplines. The primer is unique in merging the fields of health literacy and cultural competence, which are usually treated separately and often compete for time in already tight curricula. The primer consists of six modules of instruction: health disparities, community strategies, bias and stereotyping, effective communication skills, use of interpreters, and self-reflection and culture of health professions. Within each module, learning objectives are listed by type of competency (K = knowledge; S = skill; and A = attitude), as well as by learning stage (novice, intermediate, and advanced). The primer is a work in progress. Revisions will be made as new resources are identified for specific learning objectives and as existing resources undergo standardized review. (Abstract courtesy Nicholas Montalto, PhD.)

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McCann, M., Carter-Pokras, O., Braun B., and Hussein, C. A. (2012). Cultural Competency and Health Literacy Primer: A guide for teaching health professionals and students. Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities & University of Maryland School of Public Health, March, 2013, 237 pp. Retrieved from