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Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

Culturally responsive health care education is the process of learning to provide excellent health care to patients from diverse populations.

The vision at Penn State College of Medicine is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population.

This vision statement was created in 2018 by a task force formed in response to learner-identified gaps in diversity, equity and inclusion in the medical education curriculum. (See the full list of task force recommendations here.)

The vision aligns with the identification of culturally responsive care as part of the diversity mission and vision priorities of the College of Medicine and Penn State Health.

The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education oversees the implementation of this vision across the College of Medicine. It serves course directors, educators and learners across the College of Medicine by helping to develop or enhance culturally responsive content and practices.

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More About Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

Meet the Director: Katharine Dalke, MD, MBE Expand answer

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Katharine Dalke, MD, MBE

Katharine Dalke, MD, MBE

Katharine Dalke, MD, MBE, is the director of the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education and an assistant professor of psychiatry.

Dr. Dalke’s background is in culturally excellent care for patients with sexual and gender diversity. Her experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals and communities informs a holistic approach to patient care, medical education and systems advocacy.

See Dr. Dalke’s profile for details

What Culturally Responsive Health Care Education Is Expand answer

As mentioned elsewhere on this page, culturally responsive health care education is the process of learning to provide excellent health care to patients from diverse populations.

Such populations include, but are not limited to, those defined by:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Religion
  • Veteran status
  • Ability

Providing health care that is responsive to these populations allows clinicians to best promote health, reduce the impact of disparities and work toward health equity.

Culturally responsive health care education is centered on the needs and skills of patients and learners. It is a collaborative, intersectional and inclusive approach to care and education, with a focus on promoting self-awareness and practice-based learning.

What the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education Does Expand answer

The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education oversees the implementation of the vision across the College of Medicine.

It ensures the medical student curriculum meets Liaison Committee on Medical Education standards for cultural competence and the college’s commitment to cultural excellence.

In addition to content-specific sessions, the office works to ensure the curriculum in culturally responsive health care is developmental and integrated across the four pillars of the College of Medicine: biomedical sciences, health humanities, clinical sciences and health systems science.

The office also seeks to ensure the learning environment is itself culturally responsive.

Partners Expand answer

The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education partners with the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

Learning objectives and content are developed and assessed collaboratively with:

  • Educational leadership and course directors
  • Learners
  • Community partners
Latest News from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Expand answer
Contact the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education Expand answer

To reach the office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education, email Dr. Katharine Dalke, director, at kdalke@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Resources

Affinity Groups Expand answer

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine have several affinity resource/networking groups that focus on the interests of specific groups of individuals.

These groups include:

  • Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Group on Women in Medicine and Science
  • Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
  • LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
  • NextGen

Explore affinity groups

CultureVision Expand answer

CultureVision is an online tool designed to help faculty and staff explore diversity in medicine to help them provide culturally competent patient care.

Explore CultureVision training

Diversity and Culture Definitions and Values Expand answer

The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education have compiled a guide of key terms and institutional values relating to cultural diversity and cultural responsiveness. These concepts help define the goals and values around culturally responsive health care.

Explore these terms here

Resources for Educators Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine has a number of diversity resources available for faculty, including:

  • Guidelines on dealing with inappropriate patient comments
  • Links to publications on relevant topics, such as a guide to revising teaching cases
  • A detailed resource list related to LGBTQI+ issues
  • Links to relevant University and College of Medicine policies on diversity, equity and inclusion

Explore resources for educators

Faculty may also request a consultation on course development or assistance planning an event by emailing Dr. Katharine Dalke at kdalke@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Resources for Learners Expand answer

With questions or concerns about the educational curriculum or culture, email Dr. Katharine Dalke at kdalke@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or fill out the learner mistreatment reporting form. Reports made through the form may be submitted anonymously.

Students can also directly email Dr. George Blackall in the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment at gblackall@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or Lynette Chappell-Williams in the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at lchappellwilliams@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Students who require an academic accommodation due a disability should contact Student Disability Services. Disclosure of a disability is considered confidential and protected under HIPAA; it is not part of the academic record.

Report student concerns or mistreatment