Cross-cultural education

As the population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, healthcare 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 healthcare providers and staff members interact with patients from different cultures. In 2017, the department of OB/GYN participated in Quality Interactions training on unconscious bias.

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 included residents and a unit in the department of pediatrics, as well as HMS and academic hospitalist educators. They explored 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 served on the Steering Committee of the 2018 Partners Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion Summit—Living and Leading Inclusion: Everyone’s Responsibility—which featured topics of creating a culture of dignity and respect and promoting inclusion in the workplace. As part of this Steering Committee, CDI staff helped organize the Summit, participated as speakers/moderators, and facilitated round table discussions with more than 270 attendees across the Partners network.

Community Outreach

CDI partners with the Hospital and Boston communities to help advance health equity in the diverse communities MGH serves. Members of the CDI faculty and the Resident and Fellow Committee (RFC) volunteer and work with the MGH 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 exposing the youth to academic, life, and career skills to thrive.

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 MGH 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 MGH 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 MGH through a race equity framework.

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