Quality Care is Equitable Care; The case for culturally and linguistically responsive health care.

What is health equity, and why does its attainment matter in a state with predominantly white and rural residents and practitioners? How does discrimination (even unintentional) in American health care affect health inequities and health disparities experienced by minority and other underserved populations? This series will present:

  • Why quality healthcare must be equitable care;
  • How ignoring racial and ethnic health disparities is costly; and
  • How culturally and linguistically responsive practices are a necessary component to achieve a more equitable health care system.

In this 5-part professional development series, we will candidly address these and related questions and offer interventions and strategies that reduce the impacts of discrimination and biased care.

Session 1: Unmasking Health Disparities through a Health Equity Lens (December 16, 2020)

We explore the meaning of health equity as the primary lens for assuring quality care for all. Evidence of differences in health and health care experiences by race and ethnicity in rural areas will be presented, as well as demographic megatrends that influence the practice of medicine and patient care in a globally mobile world.

Series 1  Information Flyer

Session 2: Making the Case for Health Equity in Vermont – From Evidence to Action Thursday, January 28, 2021 – 1:00 to 3:00 PM

In the second of a 5-part virtual series, we explore the business, medical (quality and safety), and legal “cases” for health equity in medical care. With a special focus on racial and ethnic disparities,
language access and the emerging issue of global medicine, this session will address:

♦ Implications of demographic megatrends for patent care and the health care workforce;
♦ Introduction to the national CLAS Standards and the law of language access;
♦ National best practices, tips, tactics, and recommendations for improving health equity to racial and ethnic minorities, LEP and Deaf and Hard of Hearing, immigrants and refugees, the LGBTQ population, and other non-traditional patent populations

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2021 – 1:00 to 3:00 PM

TARGET AUDIENCE: Health care practitioners & managers, public health staff, QI directors, social workers,
community health workers, mental health & addictions counselors, and qualified medical interpreters.

David B. Hunt, J.D., Senior Director for Health Equity at BCT Partners, will present the business, medical (quality and safety), and legal “cases” for health equity in patient care. This session will start by discussing the implications of changing demographics for the healthcare workforce and for patient care. From a workforce perspective, changing demographics will force leaders to grapple with issues of recruitment, hiring and retention, productivity, rising levels of workforce incivility, and growing employment law liability. From the standpoint of patient care, changing demographics will force health care organizations to address racial and ethnic disparities and other health inequities, language access for Limited English Proficient and Deaf and hard of hearing patients (which is both a quality and safety as well as a legal and civil rights issue) and the swiftly emerging issue of global medicine. The workshop will conclude with Mr. Hunt offering national best practices, and tips, tactics, and recommendations for making progress on these thorny issues.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Health care practitioners & managers, public health staff, QI directors, social workers, community health workers, mental health & addictions counselors and qualified medical interpreters

Cost to attend is $35.
Continuing education credits will be available. Limited scholarships available.

Register Here

Series 2  Information Flyer

Session 3: Unconscious Bias in American Health Care (February 2021)

With a focus on the research of how unconscious bias negatively affects care quality and contributes to health disparities, this interactive session will address implicit bias held by physicians, institutional providers, and even patients. Evidence-based mechanisms to address implicit biases will be offered.

Session 4: Cross-Cultural Healthcare – Best Practices in Clinical Encounters (March 2021)

This session will introduce widely adopted best practices to improve physician and other provider skills before, during, and after the clinical encounter, including communication and assessment tools to help ensure equitable treatment and performance improvement practices.

Session 5: Culturally-Effective Organizations (May 2021)

This session will provide a framework with tools for healthcare leaders, managers, and others on the inputs and outputs for developing a culturally effective organization—one that cultivates and supports the delivery of high-quality services for all.

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The planning committee for this continuing education series:

Gail Auclair, MSM-HCA, R.N., CEO, Little Rivers Health Care Inc., Bradford, VT

Virginie Diambou, Racial Equity Director Champlain Valley Office of Equal Opportunity, Burlington, VT

Betsy Fowler, LCSW, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health, Northern Counties Health Care Inc., St. Johnsbury, VT

Marcia LaPlante, Equity Technical Advisor Health Operations Center Vermont Department of Health

Mckalyn LeClerc, MD, Family Physician, Northern Counties Health Care Inc., Hardwick, VT

Emily Ruth LeVan, DNP, APRN, NP-C, Copley Hospital, Morrisville, VT

Laura Newell, MSHCA, V.P. of Medical Practices, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, St. Johnsbury, VT

Julie Parker, LCMHC, Assistant Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health, Department of Vermont Health Access

Kate Simmons, MBA, MPH, Director of Operations, Bi-State Primary Care Association, VT & NH 


Welcome to

The Northern Vermont

Area Health Education Center

The Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center improves access to quality health care by working with community and academic partners to support health care workforce development through recruitment, retention and continuing education of health care professionals.

Northern Vermont AHEC


347 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 3
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
Phone: 802-748-2506
Fax: 802-748-2910
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