Better Health Care Through Better Understanding
The History and Context of Healthy Perspectives
Healthy Perspectives (HP) was developed as a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to fulfill the accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Together, using research and data drawn from multiple sources, representatives from all areas of GRU decided to focus on cultural competency to address health disparities and improve patient outcomes.
The impetus for the focus on cultural competency was “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” a 2002 Institute of Medicine Report identifying “failures in the healthcare system, cultural and linguistic barriers, and a subtle mix of bias and prejudice during the clinical encounter” as contributing to the unequal treatment and health outcomes of minorities groups in the United States.
Faculty and staff worked together for a couple of years to develop a plan that was supported across the enterprise and would provide students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to develop and build cultural competency in the context of an academic health center. Healthy Perspectives was approved by SACS and scheduled to begin in 2012.
In January 2012 faculty were recruited to build the actual HP curriculum, to translate the concept into reality. The scope was broadened to include all GRU faculty and staff in cultural competency education with everyone across the enterprise engaging in an annual, online, training activity. Healthy Perspectives was off the ground!
Consolidation does not change the goals and purpose of HP. The enterprise is still committed to improving health care through increasing cultural awareness among practitioners and HP will continue on as professional development training for all staff and faculty and a graduation or program requirement for students.
After years of hard work, dedication, and a pilot of the course, Healthy Perspectives launches Fall 2013 in the Colleges of Allied Health (Clinical Lab Science, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistants, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy), Dental Medicine, Nursing (BSN and CNL programs) and the Medical College of Georgia for first year students.
Welcome to Healthy Perspectives!
Healthy Perspectives is funded in part by a grant from Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Created in 1999 as an independent, private foundation, the Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for under-served individuals and communities.