Minority Health Resources

You can find links to a variety of minority health resources from this page. Resources include those related to Department of Health Services initiatives to eliminate disparities; Wisconsin resources both inside and outside DHS; federal programs and agencies; language access resources; and others.

Cultural Competency and Language Access

As Wisconsin's population becomes ever more diverse, health care providers serve increasing numbers of consumers/patients from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Culture and language play a crucial role in how effectively health services are delivered and received. Issues such as consumers' familiarity with, or trust in, Western medicine; spirituality and religious beliefs; health care literacy and English language proficiency are all factors that providers must consider in order to provide culturally competent care. When staff who administer services for state and federal programs understand, and respond with sensitivity to, the needs and preferences of culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, better care naturally follows.

Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to health care consumers has the potential to improve access to care, quality of care, and, ultimately, health outcomes. Below, you will find links to various resources that address the issues of cultural competency and language access.

National CLAS Standards
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care along with a downloadable blueprint to offer guidance and implementation strategies, A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice (The Blueprint). Visit the Minority Health Program's CLAS page for these resources and more.

Language Access Plan
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published its 2013 Language Access Plan (HHS LAP) ensuring access to the Department's programs and activities to people with limited English proficiency (LEP). (PDF)

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health also has a Language Access Plan for staff to ensure programs, services and activities are accessible to non-English speaking and limited English speaking individuals as well as people with disabilities requiring information in alternative languages and formats.

Cultural Competency
DHS Resources
External Resources

Language Access
DHS Resources
External Resources

Emergency Preparedness for Diverse Communities

In order to reach every person in a community during a public health emergency, public health leaders need to know the locations of at-risk populations, the best method to reach them, and the appropriate language in which to communicate. Below is a resource for providing culturally competent outreach to diverse populations during an emergency.

The National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Diverse Communities is a clearinghouse of resources to facilitate communication, networking and collaboration to improve preparedness for minority and other at-risk communities.

Federal Programs and Agencies

Wisconsin Promising Practices

The Wisconsin Promising Practices (WPP) program (PDF) is one component of the What Works: Reducing Health Disparities in Wisconsin Communities project.

The overall goal of the What Works project is to identify and disseminate public health interventions that will help reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in Wisconsin. The WPP program aims to:

  • Develop a model for identifying local programs that show promise in improving health in racial and ethnic minority communities.
  • Recognize and support these programs by providing technical assistance for program planning and evaluation.
  • Assist these programs to document their efforts and outcomes so that others can learn from their examples.
Program Summaries

Development of the WPP has taken place through a pilot process. Programs or interventions were selected to participate in the pilot based on criteria which mirrored the Wisconsin Promising Practice's definition of a promising practice. Each selected participant completed a Program Summary through an active technical assistance phase provided by What Works project staff. The summaries document each program's context, strategies, outcomes, and lessons learned. The summaries are published and disseminated to area minority health stakeholders.

A promising practice is defined as a practice or program that:

  1. Focuses on improving health in a racial or ethnic minority population.
  2. Produces at least one positive outcome that can be demonstrated with systematically collected quantitative and/or qualitative data.
  3. Is based to some degree on proven practices from the research literature and/or the experience of community practitioners and leaders.
  4. Is well-suited to its context in terms of language, belief systems and other cultural factors.

Wisconsin Resources

Safety Net Providers in Wisconsin Online Resources by Population Group (PDF)

Safety Net Providers in Wisconsin:

HIV testing in pregnancy: the perspective of minority women (PDF)
Read the results of this survey, conducted in Milwaukee as part of a partnership initiative with the Affirmative Action Committee, the AIDS/HIV program and the Minority Health Program with cooperation from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, and Milwaukee Health Services.(March 23, 2010)

Health Statistics
This page provides links to a wide variety of health statistics and health care information from the Department of Health Services.

Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) is a representative, statewide telephone survey of Wisconsin household residents aged 18 and older.

Affirmative Action and Civil Rights Compliance
The Department of Health Services Affirmative Action/Civil Rights Compliance Office works with the Department's contractors and vendors to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and departmental policies and procedures prohibiting discrimination in service delivery. The Office develops and administers the Department's Civil Rights Compliance Plan for contractors/vendors to comply with their federal Title VI responsibilities. The Office also investigates discrimination complaints.

Tribal Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary, DHS  
The major function of the Tribal Affairs Office is to assist in the effort to maintain an effective government-to-government relationship with Wisconsin tribes. Tribal governments are distinct, independent political communities qualified to exercise powers of self-government, not by virtue of any delegation of powers, but rather by reason of their original tribal sovereignty.

Wisconsin State-Tribal Consultation Initiative
In 2004, Governor Doyle issued Executive Order #39, recognizing the government-to-government relationship between the state and tribal governments and requiring strengthening of the working relationship between the two governments.

NAHEC Dimensions of Diversity blog
The Northern Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (NAHEC) has created a blog that is designed to be a place on the Web to post information about diversity training and other cultural competency information.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Demographic Data
A listing of federal resources.

Wisconsin Coalition for Linguistic Access to Health Care
The Wisconsin Coalition for Linguistic Access to Health Care is a statewide coalition formed in the summer of 2003 in response to Wisconsin's growing demand for medical interpreting. Its members include medical interpreters, educators, health care providers, advocates and others dedicated to improving access to culturally competent professional health care interpreter services in Wisconsin.

Last Revised: April 21, 2017