Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service (CLAS) Initiatives

The CLAS Initiative strives to advance health equity for Virginia’s increasingly diverse population by providing and developing resources related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services (CLAS). Projects within the initiative include:

Navigating Through the U.S. Healthcare System for Immigrants, Refugees and Migrants

Navigating Through the U.S. Health Care System for Immigrants, Refugees and Migrants is a set of books to help non-English speaking newcomers to the United States learn about the U.S. health care system.

New arrivals from other countries are often confused by the differences between the U.S. health care system and that of their home countries.

CLAS Website

The CLAS site is a web-based resource guide designed to help health care providers meet the needs of Virginia’s changing demographics. Several search options are available to quickly refine your search among the numerous resources housed in the CLAS website. By entering a keyword, the year of publication, or the target population of interest into the search engine, you can easily find useful articles, websites, organizations and documents relevant to specific CLAS-related issues.

Resources include:
• Culturally and linguistically appropriate health care information for service providers • Multicultural health and human service programs • Translated patient education information, available in multiple languages on a variety of health topics • Language identification poster • Studies, data, research reports, and assessment tools • Policies, regulations, and laws • Conferences, trainings, and other events.

Language Identification Poster

VDH Division of Multicultural Health and Community Engagement has designed a poster that informs patients in 32 languages of their rights to a trained interpreter at no cost copies of this poster should be displayed at all offices of the health district and, as appropriate, in multiple locations within offices.

Language Needs Assessments

The assessments use Census 2000, Virginia Department of Education, and Virginia Department of Health data to give a comprehensive snapshot of the most commonly-spoken language encountered in every health district in Virginia. Learn more click here.

Additional CLAS Resources

Healthy Roads Media offers the tool, “Do I Need an Interpreter?” that is available in 7 languages, including Arabic, Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

You can access the videos in multiple ways:

  1. Visit the Healthy Roads Media Website
  2. Use your smart phone to access the Health Roads Media Mobile site
  3. Download the videos onto your computer

Read more archived news stories featuring CLAS Initiatives.