April 24, 2013

WASHINGTON—Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for releasing enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.

“The CLAS blueprint is needed to ensure that Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities receive health care that is high quality and meets their diverse needs,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “These enhanced standards are integral to the success of national efforts aimed at stamping out health disparities and improving the health and well-being of minority communities, especially as it relates to our longstanding organizational priorities around meaningful language access, culturally appropriate care and the promotion of health equity in all aspects of the health setting.”

In 2010, APIAHF participated in the CLAS enhancement initiative and believes the CLAS standards will continue to be an important tool to reduce health care disparities and promote more patient-centered and equitable care for everyone. The standards provide a blueprint for health organizations, providers and the public health sector to improve care across a variety of measures, including governance and leadership, engagement and accountability and efforts to improve communication between providers, health systems and patients as it relates to language access. Read all of the standards and access the blueprint here.

APIAHF thanks Susan M. Shinagawa, Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (APINCSN) co-founder, for her participation on the National Project Advisory Committee for the CLAS enhancement initiative, and her continued advocacy in cultural competency and language access for AA and NHPI communities.