Local Public Health Capacities to Address the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations

The researchers examined the public health needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Specifically, they developed detailed community multicultural profiles describing the cultural and linguistic diversity of populations served by local health departments (LHDs). They used these profiles to analyze the relationships between population characteristics and existing public health capacity and to identify and survey select communities for more in-depth information about serving these populations. They sought answers to the following research questions: 1) How do jurisdictions with LHDs compare in terms of the composition of the population served? To what extent do communities include substantial numbers of racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, and/or persons who speak a language other than English? 2) Does the structure and capacities of LHDs vary with respect to the multicultural profile of the populations they serve? How do LHD resources and activities correspond to local community characteristics? 3) What are the specific strategies that LHDs engage in to meet the needs of diverse populations? What types of strategies appear to be most successful? Are community partnerships used either for training purposes or for the delivery of culturally appropriate services? 4) What obstacles appear to be most difficult to overcome in serving different types of population subgroups? Which types of services are most difficult to deliver? What characteristics or combinations of characteristics of communities and LHDs create the most substantial obstacles? The objective of this project was to develop policy recommendations for implementation of promising strategies to better serve diverse populations.