Jones & Bartlett Learning recently published Cultural Competency for the Health Professional by Patti R. Rose, MPH, EdD. Included in the text is an interview with Dr. Donna Shalala, current President of the University of Miami and former Clinton U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Cultural Competency for the Health Professional reviews the importance of the implementation of cultural competency by allied health professionals, and the process of assessment, training, and evaluation. It includes a clear and concise overview of the necessary tools to apply cultural competency processes as well as systematic and disciplined approaches to the process of achieving it. Also addressed are the reservations that may exist in various health professions with interests in moving in the direction of cultural competency, such as associated costs and limited time. Cultural Competency for the Health Professional provides health professions students with key cultural competency information and practical insight into how to apply this knowledge in their day-to-day work environments as they deal with patients on a clinical basis.
Chapter 10 includes an interview between the author and Dr. Shalala. Read an excerpt,
Dr. Rose: In general, what is your perspective regarding healthcare reform given the rapidly changing demographics in the U.S.?
Dr. Shalala: I don’t think there is a lot of reform in health care reform. What I do think is that it is a substantial increase in coverage. We’re going to get close to most Americans having health insurance. So this bill is very much about coverage. So the people who don’t currently have coverage are working class. That involves large numbers of minorities, African Americans and Hispanics in particular, who tend to work hourly and often more than one part time job but they are working. So 80% of the people who don’t have health insurance at this moment in time are working or they are families of the workers.
Dr. Rose: So essentially what you are saying is the fact that our demographics are changing. This new concept has emerged-- emerging majorities rather than minorities--in fact the term minorities might become obsolete.
Dr. Shalala: That’s absolutely true. So that means that health care has to change along with it. Both who provides the healthcare and how they provide it.
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Dr. Donna Shalala is currently the President of the University of Miami, in Florida. She has been in this position since 2001. Prior to her current role, she was appointed by President Clinton to serve as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and held this position for 8 years which amounted to the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history to date. She was responsible for a budget of almost $600 billion, overseeing a number of programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Child Care and Head Start, Welfare, the Public Health Service, the National Institute of Health (NIH), The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Shalala,2011).