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Bender, Deborah E.; Clawson, Margaret; Harlan, Christina; & Lopez, Rebecca (2004). Improving Access for Latino Immigrants: Evaluation of Language Training Adapted to the Needs of Health Professionals. Journal of Immigrant Health, 6(4), 197-209.


The number of Latinos in North Carolina grew by almost 400% between 1990 and 2000. The rapid change in demographics in this state and other southeastern states has caught healthcare providers unprepared. Lack of ability to communicate with Latino patients may result in errors in diagnosis or reduced compliance with recommended treatments. The Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards, published in 2001, mandate culturally and linguistically appropriate services for persons with limited English proficiency. This paper describes an innovative strategy to promote Spanish and culture-learning skills of healthcare providers and presents results of the evaluation conducted to determine its impact on access to quality care. The evaluation used a 360° case study design, at 1-year follow-up. Use of Spanish language health-related materials is key to the training's success. The authors make recommendations for replication of the integrated language and culture-training model in other new settlement areas, especially those in the southeast of the United States.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Immigrant Health


Bender, Deborah E.
Clawson, Margaret
Harlan, Christina
Lopez, Rebecca