Cultural Competence Council

Interns are required to participate in Fulton State Hospital’s Cultural Competence Council. The Council meets once per month and is involved in a variety of activities and projects throughout the campus. The Council is charged with implementing the above mentioned philosophy and supporting the belief that all people must be valued because of their humanity, unique abilities, perspectives, and skills.

The mission statement of the Cultural Competency Council reads as follows:

The Cultural Competence Council of Fulton State Hospital will provide leadership, empowerment and education to our hospital community, for the development of culturally competent, self aware, responsible staff, students and clients in order to develop a safe, respectful, supportive environment where staff and clients may work and live, find hope and recover.

For the purposes of the Cultural Competence Council, Cultural Competence is defined as “The ability of health care providers and health care organizations to understand and respond effectively to the cultural, spiritual and language needs brought by the clients and employees to the journey of recovery and rehabilitation.” Culture is defined as “Integrated patterns of human behavior and collective knowledge transmitted between generations. This knowledge includes shared patterns of behavior, information, and lived experience communicated through language, beliefs, and behavior patterns. It also includes socially valued belief systems, the arts, customs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought, characteristic of a community or population.” Race/Ethnicity is defined as “a person’s self-identified family of origin (e.g. White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native). It is important to note that a person is not limited to just one category. In addition, Race/Ethnicity can be independent or separate from his or her identified cultural background. As an example, it is common for deaf people to first identify themselves with Deaf Culture before his or her race or ethnicity.” Finally, diversity is defined as “the differences that make each of us unique” (A Winning Balance, 1995).

The Fulton State Hospital Cultural Competence Council recognizes the following items as essential: 1) Value diversity, 2) Self Assessment, 3) Recognize and respond to the dynamics of diversity, 4) Acquire and integrate cultural knowledge (both from a client perspective as well as an organizational history), and 5) Be responsive to the cultural context of individuals and communities served. (Adapted from Joint Commission, 2010; A Roadmap for Hospitals).

  1. The Cultural Competence Council responsibilities shall include:
    1. Offer continuous educational programs for all staff in order to provide optimum care to our clients and sensitivity to their unique needs.
    2. Offer continuous educational programs for all clients in order to be sensitive to individual and cultural needs.
    3. Provide oversight, assessment, and evaluation of continuum of care related to cultural, ethnic and spiritual assessments to provide clients with the right to be treated according to their unique needs.
    4. Provide oversight, assessment, and evaluation of employee working conditions to ensure an environment that promotes and respects human diversity including race, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability.
    5. Be available to the Administrator to explore alleged discrimination when first reported in an attempt at early resolution.
    6. Sponsor cultural celebrations.
    7. Promote community involvement with Cultural Competence Council.
    8. Assist in the selection, development and measurement of the cultural, spiritual and language needs of the hospital. Based upon those results, the Council will make recommendations to Fulton State Hospital and identified stakeholders (e.g. Administrators, Staff, Clients, Staff Development, and Human Resources).
  2. The Cultural Competence Council shall support the Department of Mental Health’s Affirmative Action Plan.
  3. Identify, understand and interpret pertinent Joint Commission standards for the hospital.
  4. The Cultural Competence Council membership shall be composed of a diverse group of employees, community members and client representatives. Additional members may be added to assist with specific task force duties, and/or short-term committee work.
  5. The Council will meet a minimum of once per month and report at least annually to the Facility Executive Team (FET) and the Facility Operations Team (FOT).
  6. Reports submitted to the Council shall be attached to the minutes and minutes shall include findings, corrective actions taken or recommended and follow-up reports on previous problems and their resolutions. Minutes are to be distributed to the Facility Executive Team (FET) members.