Enhancing the Delivery of Health Care

Eliminating Health Disparities through a Culturally & Linguistically Centered Integrated Health Care Approach

In a strategic effort to improve the health status of populations most impacted by disparities, in 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) entered into a collaborative agreement with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in Austin, Texas to investigate the role and impact of integrated care in promoting health equity and eliminating behavioral health disparities. The scope of the collaboration was to identify and recommend culturally and linguistically competent elements, strategies and practice innovations to be incorporated into current models and approaches of integrated health care.

Additional goals were to identify effective strategies for implementing those changes and to create a new knowledge base for this paradigm. Key activities and work products were defined and aligned strategically to provide the greatest impact when promoting and implementing integrated health care in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including persons with LEP. A literature review was conducted to examine the evidence base and literature of integrated health care regarding racial and ethnic minorities and populations with LEP. This literature review was then disseminated to a select group of leading national experts for review and consideration, setting the stage for a robust dialogue to take place at a
national consensus meeting.

OMH and the Hogg Foundation convened a two-day expert panel meeting in Austin, Texas on November 6 7-8, 2011, “Eliminating Behavioral Health Disparities through the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services for Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Those with Limited English Proficiency.”

Recognized experts in the fields of health, mental health and addictions, integrated care, and cultural and linguistic competency met to share best practices, offer insights and provide recommendations to help create national models to improve integrated health care for racial and ethnic minority and LEP populations. This report contains the consensus statements and recommendations from the experts meeting and is the fourth in a series of OMH-sponsored projects to address specific areas of need for underserved, targeted communities.

The other three reports are available online at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov

  • Movilizandonos por Nuestro Futuro: Strategic Development of a Mental Health Workforce for Latinos (2010)
  • Pathways to Integrated Health Care: Strategies for African American Communities and Organizations (2011)
  • Integrated Care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities: A Blueprint for Action (2012)

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