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About the Center of Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Health Care


The OMH was mandated by the United States Congress (P.L. 101-527) in 1990 to develop the capacity of health care professionals to address the cultural and linguistic barriers to health care delivery and to increase access to health care for limited English-proficient people. Additionally this mandate directs OMH to support research, demonstrations, and evaluations to test new and innovative models aimed at increasing knowledge and providing a clearer understanding of health risk factors and successful prevention intervention strategies for minority populations.

The United States Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, 103rd Congress 2d Session, Report 103-553, June 21, 1994, also recognized the need to address language barriers faced by limited English-speaking populations in the health care delivery system. The Committee language encouraged OMH to carry out activities to improve the ability of health care providers to deliver health services in the native languages of limited -English proficient populations, as required by the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990(P.L. 101-527). Concurrently, the Committee encouraged OMH to establish a center to develop and evaluate models, conduct research, and provide technical assistance to providers on removing language barriers to health care services.

The Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care (CLCCHC) was established in FY 1995 as a vehicle to address the health needs of populations who speak limited English, and helps to fulfill the requirements of P.L. 101-527. During FY 1995, OMH established the Center for Lingustic and Cultural Competency in Health Care (CLCCHC), a "center without walls," which encompasses all existing and new policy, partnership, communications, service demonstrations and evaluation activities related to cultural competency.


The mission of CLCCHC is to collaborate with federal agencies and other public and private entities to enhance the ability of the health care system to effectively deliver linguistically appropriate and culturally competent health care to limited English-speaking populations.

Program goals for CLCCHC are to:

  • facilitate access and the exchange of information on literature, research, and programs for removing language and cultural barriers to health care for limited English-speaking populations;
  • promote research and other initiatives through collaboration with Federal agencies, public health agencies, managed care entities, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations on removing language and cultural barriers to health care for limited English-speaking populations;
  • develop demonstration projects aimed at removing language and cultural barriers to health care for limited English-speaking populations;
  • conduct evaluations on the demonstration projects undertaken, determine their feasibility for replication, and the transferring of this technology to targeted audiences; and
  • provide technical assistance to providers of health care to enhance their ability to deliver linguistically appropriate and competent health care to diverse minority populations.

Last Modified: 04/22/2013 03:04:00 PM
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Office of Minority Health
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