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Hospitals take cultural sensitivity seriously

Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2011

Hospitals in the Chicago area are seeing more people with different languages, cultural sensitivities and religions that can confound doctors, nurses and caregivers and hinder patients' best possible care. Interpreters have been deployed by many hospitals, but more expansive measures now are being considered inside the hospital and to communities with large ethnic populations. Hospitals have worked to bridge the cultural gap. Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago has advocates for its large contingents of Russian, Polish and Vietnamese patients. Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield has guidelines for dealing with patients and families from more than 20 ethnic groups. At Lutheran General, the integration committee in 2008 determined that the hospital could do a better job satisfying one of its core values: equality. It called for a review by the National Center for Cultural Competence, which identified four large and rapidly growing minority groups -- Koreans, Poles, Latinos and Russians -- who could be served better by the hospital.