Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County is dedicated to providing services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for Montgomery County residents.
What is CLAS?
Culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) is a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. CLAS is about respect and responsiveness: Respect the whole individual and Respond to the individual’s health needs and preferences.
Health inequities in the United States are well documented. Providing CLAS is one strategy to help eliminate health inequities. By tailoring services to an individual's culture and language preferences, health professionals can help bring about positive health outcomes for diverse populations.
The provision of health services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse patients can help close the gap in health outcomes.
The National CLAS Standards
The National CLAS Standards are a set of 15 action steps intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
Public Health values all community members served in Montgomery County and actively works to support and track CLAS initiatives across the agency.
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County’s primary CLAS objectives:
- Assessing Public Health’s status in meeting CLAS Standards, reporting the assessment findings to the Executive Team and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and identifying and assisting in CLAS strategies. The Executive Team will establish priorities and assign the appropriate personnel to implement CLAS strategies.
- Assuring that all Public Health employees receive competency-based training related to providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
- Quarterly reporting of progress through a dashboard to the Executive Team.
Priority Area 1: Agency CLAS Policy Enhancements
Goal: Enhance implementation of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) policy.
Priority Area 2: Employee CLAS Training
Goal: Educate and train employees in CLAS policies and practices.
Priority Area 3: CLAS Reporting to Employees & Community
Goal: Communicate CLAS progress to employees and the community.
Selected Implementation Highlights 2020 – 2021
Below are selected highlights of the implementation of CLAS concepts in everyday Public Health work.
- February 2020 - Agency Health Equality Index Certification (HEIC)
- October 2020 - Improved the Internal Reporting Process for CLAS Initiatives
- April 2021 - Creation of the Employee Portal CLAS SharePoint page
- May 2021 - Implementation of new Agency CLAS Initiative Reporting Tool
- May 2021 - Implementation of newly revised New Employee CLAS Training
- May 2021 - Office of Health Commissioner Customer Satisfaction Survey with CLAS focused questions
- June 2021 - Latino COVID-19 Community Forum (facilitated completely in Spanish)
- June 2021 - Community Vaccine Attitude Survey
- June 2021 - WIC Customer “Welcome” signs created in 5 languages
- July 2021 - Alternate Language Videos for COVID -19 “Get the Facts”
- August 2021 – Virtual Training Session “Pronouns and Beyond” using LGBTQ language
- September 2021 -Provided a COVID-19 Vaccination Q&A in Spanish on social media