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Stories of Care Podcast September 22, 2022

4 Ways an Urban Indian Organization Uses Cultural Competency to Drive Infection Control Practices

Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) are designated groups that provide health care programs to American Indians/Alaska Natives in the United States. UIOs serve a diverse group of tribal nations from rural and urban counties. Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) spoke with M. Angel Galvez, CEO of Bakersfield American Indian Health Project (BAIHP), to discusses how he and his organization blended traditional practices, cultural competency, and infection control principles during COVID-19 to better serve their patients.

  1. Collaborate with local Native leaders to identify culturally competent practices.

    BAIHP hosts seasonal events that promote Native American culture and include various cultural practices such as building and playing rawhide drums and jingle dancing. During these events, BAIHP solicits community input on practices they can integrate into their care model.

  2. Partner with related organizations to create or adapt site-specific health care guidelines.

    BAIHP partnered with the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH), California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB) and others to create a COVID-19 Surge Plan and ensure cultural practices were embedded in patient care.

  3. Integrate cultural practices into the care model.

    Smudging, a healing ritual, is one of the cultural practices that is offered to every person that visits the BAIHP clinic.

  4. Offer cultural competency training when onboarding new staff and continue to integrate this learning throughout the year.

    BAIHP’s cultural coordinator leads monthly sessions to train all staff on the various practices offered at the clinic, along with other culturally relevant topics.

This post provides highlights from episode four of the Stories of Care podcast, Indigenous Approaches to Infection Prevention and Control. For the full interview, listen here.

Project Firstline is a national collaborative led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide infection control training and education to frontline healthcare workers and public health personnel. The American Medical Association is proud to partner with Project Firstline, as supported through CDC-RFA-CK20-2003. CDC is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this article do not necessarily represent the policies of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.


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