HSC Workshop Series: Improving Cross-Cultural Communication – An Introduction

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with Dr. Ednita M. Wright and Karen Brown
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
9:00 – 11:00 am
Via Zoom – a link will be sent to participants upon registration


The ability for health and human services workers to communicate effectively and compassionately with their clients is essential to the provision of high quality care and service.

But what happens when we serve people from different countries or cultures? Cultural norms impact how your clients perceive you and how they may respond to information you provide. Learning to communicate across cultures allows you to build a rapport with people from different backgrounds which leads to better understanding, better service, and more equitable care and service.

In this session, participants will:

  • Understand the concept of health literacy and the impact of lower health literacy skills on health outcomes
  • Understand the importance of effective cross-cultural communication
  • Explore cross-cultural communication as a universal precaution strategy for improving outcomes
  • Be introduced to the RESPECT model (from Think Cultural Health) as an effective method for cross cultural communication

About the Presenters: 

Ednita M. Wright (Dr. Nina), Ph.D., LCSW, CASAC recently retired from Onondaga Community College where she was a Professor in the Human Services/Teacher Education Department, Chair of the Department and Program Coordinator of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling Program. She leaves academe after teaching for thirty-five (35) years in various public and private academic institutions.  Prior to her academic career she worked as a social worker in community agencies that served individuals with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, domestic violence, housing, and mental health issues. 

Dr. Wright has consulted for over twenty-five years with community agencies and academic institutions regarding issues of bias with the primary objective of moving away from tolerance to authentic inclusion, for all.  She recently contributed to the review of the Health Literacy training, offered by the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute which focused on language, and its importance in decreasing exclusion and stigma. Dr. Wright believes to serve humans with love, there must be a solid and unwavering commitment to inclusion and the rooting out of all practices, norms, procedures, etc. that perpetuate any form of exclusion.

Karen Brown holds a master’s degree in social sciences and serves as the current Programs Manager, at Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, located in Ithaca, NY.  Karen is a 2018 Health Literacy Leadership Institute Fellow from Tufts University’s school of Public Health.   

Karen currently works as a health literacy and cultural competence consultant for various organizations across upstate New York.  Karen is especially passionate about advocating for the provision of health care literacy competencies among health care professionals.  

In addition, Karen has recently designed a training program to address the low health literacy levels of individuals receiving Medicaid benefits in 15 counties, within Upstate New York, with funding through the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). This training program has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate its sustainability and efficacy for the promotion of health literacy. 

All registration sales are final.

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