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TB Notes 4, 2004

No. 4, 2004

TB Education and Training Network Updates

TB ETN Cultural Competency Subcommittee Update

“Scientists do not resist investigation of the human genome because it represents too much variety; the same scientific logic works equally well for sorting and classifying information about culture, ethnicity, and race.”1

The Institute of Medicine report cited above states that the goal in cultural competency education is to increase public health professionals’ cultural awareness, knowledge of self and others, communication skills, attitudes, and behaviors. To this end, the Cultural Competency Subcommittee of TB ETN is composed of TB trainers, educators, and controllers who are passionate about cultural competency and its application to TB control activities. The goal of the Cultural Competency Subcommittee is to inculcate the value of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services among TB ETN members.  If you are interested in joining this subcommittee, please send an e-mail to

The Cultural Competency Subcommittee is currently focused on compiling a cultural competency resource list. The list includes organizations that provide cultural competency–related services, cultural competency assessment tools, and references to cultural competency–related published research. The resource list will be printed and included in the TB ETN conference binder. The group also plans to meet at the TB ETN conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to plan and discuss tasks for the following year.

Cultural Competency Tip

By examining the successes and lessons learned among community-based organizations, health care providers can glean several strategies for effective outreach. Listen for the community’s agenda and assign your priorities based on their expressed needs. Reach into the community through existing, respected groups, select culturally relevant media or materials to convey your message, and target whole families with understanding and respect. Make certain that outreach materials are not simple translations from English but rather are developed by persons familiar with the language, literacy level, and culture of the specific target subgroup.2

—Submitted by Chris Ogolla, MA, MPH
TB ETN Cultural Competency Subcommittee


  1. The Institute of Medicine. Who Will Keep the Public Healthy. Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century. Washington DC: National Academy Press; 2003.
  2. The National Alliance for Hispanic Health. A Primer for Cultural Proficiency: Towards Quality Health Services for Hispanics. Washington, DC: Estrella Press; 2001.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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