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NHLBI: Teaching Multi-cultural Practice

About Us

University of Maryland

Marylandís Approach to Cultural Competency in Healthcare

Olivia Carter-Pokras, PhDOlivia Carter-Pokras, PhD

Associate Professor
Principal Investigator
University of Maryland School of Public Health






  • We developed the University of Maryland School of Public Health website on health disparities and cultural competency in healthcare. This website is intended to help health professionals, public health practitioners, students and others find information on cultural competency and health disparities, both at the state and national levels. What you will find on this website are links to free online cultural competency curricula, information on language services and requirements, self-awareness exercises, key reports on health disparities, interactive websites to retrieve data and create tables, related courses, as well as other resources.
  • Seven small group discussion guides have been developed by Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras and other members of the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals to accompany the upcoming four-hour documentary series exploring America’s racial and socioeconomic inequities in health: Unnatural Causes. Produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures, Inc., the series has recently been awarded the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award which is considered to be the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. The purpose of the discussion guides is to acquaint medical and other health professional students with examples of specific health disparities that affect communities in the United States, bring to their attention the role that social determinants of health play in these disparities, and foster discussion regarding solutions and action that can be taken to eliminate these health disparities.  The discussion guides are posted on this site, here.
  • BiDil: the first "race-based drug." In this one-hour small group case discussion, participants discuss what race is, relevant findings from the National Human Genome Project, disparities in heart failure, how BiDil came to market, and close with a discussion on how race should be used in medicine, particularly in the context of very real health disparities and factors that influence health. Includes a comprehensive facilitator's and student's guide. For more information, please contact Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras.

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Selected publications to date:

  • Carter-Pokras O, Acosta DA, Lie D, Bereknyei S, DeLisser H, Haidet P, Gill A, Hildebrandt C, Crandall S, Kondwani K, Glick S. for the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals. Curricular Products from the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals. MDNG: Focus on Multicultural Healthcare (in press 2009). Available at: MDNG
  • Carter-Pokras O, Lie, DA and Nunez A. A six-hour self-study CME activity published by InforMed: '2008-9 Physician Update: Cultural Competency'

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  • NCME @ Health Literach Annual Research Conference
    • Two workshops on cultural competency and MedEdPORTAL
    • October 17-18, 2011, Chicago, IL
  • RWJ National Health Plan Collaborative Toolkit
    • This toolkit has resources, lessons, best practices and case studies to assist health plans reduce disparities.
  • AHRQ Health Literacy Toolkit
    • The toolkit can help your practice and communicate with patients.
  • Stopping Discrimination Before it Starts: The Impact of Civil Rights Laws on Healthcare Disparities
  • Curricular Products from the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals
  • Conferences:
    • AAMC annual meeting 2010
      • November 5-10, Washington, DC
    • APHA annual meeting 2010
      • November 6-10, Denver, CO