Department: Cultural Diversity
Manager: Sergey Germanovich
Phone: (315) 734-3582
Fax: (315) 235-7491
Office Hours: 8am-4:30pm
Address: 2209 Genesee St.
Utica, NY 13501
Learn about our free interpretation services
St. Elizabeth Medical Center and its community medical sites are located within very unique and diverse communities. Utica has consistently ranked among the top ten largest per capita areas for resettlement of refugees. The recent influx of immigrants and refugees to the Utica area has changed the longstanding downward population trend. As of the 2010 Census, Utica has experienced a 2.6 % population growth within the last ten years. Over 34 % of Utica’s population is considered to be culturally diverse.
Cultural competence is a set of harmonizing behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or group of professionals to enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.
The word culture is used because it implies the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group. The word competence is used because it implies having the capacity to function effectively.
The following five essential elements contribute to a system's, institution's, or agency's ability to become more culturally competent:
Having the capacity for cultural self-assessment
Being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact
Having institutionalized culture knowledge
Having developed adaptations to service delivery reflecting an understanding of cultural diversity
These five elements should be manifested at every level of an organization including policy making, administrative, and practice. Further these elements should be reflected in the attitudes, structures, policies and services of the organization (National Center for Cultural Competence, 1998).
Therefore, the Cultural Diversity program at the Medical Center provides our staff with competency skills and knowledge to work effectively with individuals and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This assists in providing quality healthcare services and reducing health disparities for a diverse population of patients from Africa, Cambodia, Bosnia, Burma, Nepal and more.
View this educational piece on understanding culture, communication, and Medical Interpreters.