Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

As part of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, the South Dakota Department of Health has developed this webpage to provide a central location for cultural competency training and resources for its employees in order to promote a culture of organizational excellence (Goal 5, Strategy B).

Click here to view and/or print the SDDOH Health Equity Infographic:
Better Health for All in South Dakota

Click here for a list of definitions related to health equity and cultural competency.


Build organizational capacity

Organizations can engage in practices that influence their impact on health equity. Practices such as staff training, resource distribution, and staffing decisions impact public health.

Community engagement

Involve community members in health initiatives to foster relationships, improve assessment efforts, build capacity to positively affect the community, and enhance sustainability.

Establish and foster partnerships

Engage a diverse sector of partners to collectively achieve equitable outcomes by leveraging diverse skills and expertise.

Understand health equity

Understand inequities that exist to establish baselines, monitor trends over time, inform partners where to focus resources, and ensure strategies address the needs of populations experiencing health inequities.

Health equity focused evidence-based strategies

Ensure strategies have a deliberate focus on health equity and include supportive activities to address barriers or unintended outcomes underserved populations may face.


Focus on health equity in evaluation efforts and use culturally appropriate tools and methodologies. Health equity oriented evaluation can reveal trends in health inequities.

Trainings/Continuing Education

Advancing Cultural Competence in the Public Health & Health Care Workforce
School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York

Self-paced, online webinar series and continuing education on cultural and structural competency

Think Cultural Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Note: You must log in or register to take this continuing education course
Continuing education for health care administrators and providers; disaster and emergency personnel; nurses and social workers; oral health professionals; and physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants

Equity and Inclusion – An Introduction
The Cross Cultural Health Care Program

This course is about 2-4 hours in length and includes content and instructions that can be modified according to organizational needs.

Moving to Institutional Equity: A Tool to Address Racial Equity for Public Health Practitioners
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Health Equity Council
This health equity toolkit has been created by the Institutional Equity Committee, a subgroup of the NACDD Health Equity Council, to help identify biased practices and policies. It is being piloted in 9 states.

Webinars (and other videos)

Unnatural Causes: Is inequality making us sick?
Acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS. Tackles the root causes of our alarming socioeconomic and racial inequities in health. Crisscrosses the nation uncovering starling new findings that suggest that there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care, or unlucky genes. The social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses.

Episodes include: In Sickness and In Wealth (56 min.), When the Bough Breaks (29 mins.), Becoming American (29 min.), Bad Sugar (29 min.), Place Matters (29 min.), Collateral Damage (29 min.), Not Just a Paycheck (30 min.)

Note: Video clips/excerpts are available online. To view full episodes, digital rentals and physical DVDs are available for purchase.

Discussion guide: Activities and prompts for facilitators on the documentary series.



CLAS-talk Listserv

Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) Newsletter

Center for Public Health Continuing Education (CPHCE) Mailing List
School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York
Note: Check the "Interests" box under "Cultural Competence for the Health Care Workforce" for a more refined mailing list.

Health Equity Institute Mailing List
San Francisco State University

Facebook pages

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, OPHS
Office of Minority Health: FINAL REPORT (March, 2001, Washington, D.C.)

Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) allows patients the potential to improve access to care, quality of care, and health outcomes. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) has set national standards to give organizations clear guidance on how to provide CLAS in health care settings. The CLAS standards reflect the input of many healthcare organizations ranging from hospitals to community-based clinics, to home health agencies, as well as medical providers, professional associations, Federal and State agencies, educators, consumers, and advocates.

Affordable Care Act Basics: Cultural Competence and Language Assistance
This course covers cultural competence and language assistance in order for organizations to provide the best possible assistance to consumers from all cultures and backgrounds.

Rationale and Benefits

Assessing the attitudes, policies, practices, and structures of service organizations is a necessary and effective way to plan for and include cultural competency in an organization. Completing self-assessments offers many benefits to organizations including monitoring how effectively they are addressing the needs and preferences of culturally/linguistically diverse groups, improving family/client utilization of services, and increasing family/client satisfaction with the services they receive.

Test your cultural competency

Additional Resources

Share via: