Explore This Program
As the population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, health care providers will continue to work in more diverse teams and care for patients from different cultures and backgrounds. One of the major challenges is communication across cultures. Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH, CDI’s program director for cross-cultural education, has worked with a team to develop online “Quality Interaction” courses that help health care providers and staff members interact with patients from different cultures.
CDI staff also facilitate a series of cross-cultural education sessions entitled “A Cross-cultural Approach to Teamwork and Communication,” which focus on developing strategies for effective cross-cultural dialogue and team dynamics. Session participants include residents as well as Harvard Medical School and academic hospitalist educators. They explore challenges in facilitating cross-cultural dialogues and learned how to apply the training to a team-based learning environment.
Unconscious Bias and Diversity Training
CDI staff facilitate live trainings on unconscious bias for selection and hiring committees, and helped develop scenarios for the HealthStream employee annual training on standards of behavior. CDI also serves on the Steering Committee of the Partners HealthCare Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, which focuses on creating a culture of dignity and respect and promoting inclusion in the workplace. As part of this Steering Committee, CDI staff help organize the Summit, participate as speakers and moderators, and facilitate round table discussions with more than 270 attendees across the Partners network.
CDI partners with Mass General and Boston communities to help advance health equity in the diverse communities Mass General serves. Members of the CDI faculty and the Resident and Fellow Committee (RFC) volunteer and work with the Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) to mentor students in the Youth Programs, an initiative that provides more than 1,000 youth in the Boston area with after-school activities, career exposure and summer jobs aimed at helping youth develop the academic, life and career skills they need to thrive.
Activities for Elementary and High School Students
Our youth programming includes:
- Partnerships with the Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement on initiatives including strategic planning for community health education and direct participation in Mass General Youth Programs, which exposes young people in Boston, Chelsea and Revere to health and science subjects and related careers. CDI faculty and the Resident and Fellow Committee volunteer and provide mentorship and motivational speaking to students in this program
- Partnership with the Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership to participate in and promote the Biomedical Science Careers Program
- Health fairs, including El Planeta's Salud y Familia, the largest health fair for the Latino community in Boston
Outreach Within Mass General
- The Latino Heritage Planning Committee, founded by CDI Executive Director Elena Olson in 2001, was formed to honor Latino Heritage Month at Mass General. The committee organizes a month of events and educational seminars relating to Latino health and culture. Prominent speakers have included Red Sox player David Ortiz, author Esmeralda Santiago, Latino Community health activists, and Health Disparities expert Joseph Betancourt
- Black History Month celebrations with The Association of Multicultural Members of Partners
- Mass General Center for Faculty Development
- Mass General Disparities Solutions Center co-sponsors film series and education programs.
- Mass General Leadership Academy (Intranet site: Internal access only) provides training and education for employees
Race and Equity Initiatives
CDI has led critical race and equity initiatives, including a series of conversations with the CDI community creating a safe space to discuss issues of race, violence, and immigration impacting the community. CDI also co-sponsors hospitalwide discussions, such as the Stand Against Racism, which features frank and honest conversation about Mass General and racism. The goal of these Stands is to create awareness and highlight the challenges we still face regarding race and racism in our community. CDI also coordinated a “Stand” pledge that captured what many members of the Mass General community will do to advance racial equity.
The CDI executive director co-chairs the ECOCH race equity subcommittee, which is dedicated to achieving equity at Mass General through a race equity framework.