Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links
January 2021Expand January 2021
November 2020Expand November 2020
July/August 2020Expand July/August 2020
May/June 2020Expand May/June 2020
March/April 2020Expand March/April 2020
January/February 2020Expand January/February 2020
September/October 2019Expand September/October 2019
July/August 2019Expand July/August 2019
May/June 2019Expand May/June 2019
March/April 2019Expand March/April 2019
January/February 2019Expand January/February 2019
November/December 2018Expand November/December 2018
September/October 2018Expand September/October 2018
July/August 2018Expand July/August 2018
May/June 2018Expand May/June 2018
March/April 2018Expand March/April 2018
January/February 2018Expand January/February 2018
November/December 2017Expand November/December 2017
September/October 2017Expand September/October 2017
July/August 2017Expand July/August 2017
May/June 2017Expand May/June 2017
March/April 2017Expand March/April 2017
January/February 2017Expand January/February 2017
November/December 2016Expand November/December 2016
September/October 2016Expand September/October 2016
July/August 2016Expand July/August 2016
May/June 2016Expand May/June 2016
March/April 2016Expand March/April 2016
January/February 2016Expand January/February 2016
November/December 2015Expand November/December 2015
September/October 2015Expand September/October 2015
July/August 2015Expand July/August 2015
May/June 2015Expand May/June 2015
March/April 2015Expand March/April 2015
January/February 2015Expand January/February 2015
ArchiveExpand Archive
Special Edition - EPRExpand Special Edition - EPR
Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 Supporting Diversity and Reducing Health Disparities in Community-Based MCH Programs

karla.jpgBy Karla Palmer
Program Coordinator
Healthy Tomorrows Resource Center, American Academy of Pediatrics

We know that low-income and racially and ethnically diverse children and families consistently face disparities accessing high-quality health care, which ultimately affect their health outcomes. We also know that no single action can erase those disparities – but as my organization is finding out, something as simple as implementing strategies from tip sheets can get health care providers moving in the right direction.

The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP), a grant program funded by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), is committed to supporting service providers that improve the health of vulnerable and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities. Two of HTPCP's key goals are to:

  • support programs that address disparities and inequities (and their underlying causes, including racism and other forms of marginalization) through the development of inclusive, family-centered, and culturally and linguistically competent practice environments, and

  • develop and disseminate new knowledge and innovations in maternal and child health (MCH) practice and policy across HTPCP programs and with key partners to inform and influence MCH policies. 


The development of our latest strategies to accomplish these goals began last year, when the National Healthy Tomorrows Technical Assistance Resource Center at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which provides technical assistance, resources, and training to HTPCP grantees and prospective applicants, joined forces with Altarum Institute to collect and share information from HTPCP grantees about their efforts to integrate diversity and cultural and linguistic competence, and to reduce health disparities in their projects. 

The Altarum Institute conducted a focus group session with six HTPCP grantees to hear firsthand how they are effectively integrating cultural and linguistic competence into project values, policies, structures and practices, and how they address disparities and inequities through public health and clinical practice. HTPCP and Healthy Tomorrows Resource Center staff reviewed progress reports submitted to MCHB and conducted follow-up calls with selected grantees to gather additional information on their strategies for addressing diverse populations and reducing health disparities.

Among the themes identified during the review process were the need for staff training, cultural and linguistic competence plans, community advisory boards, organizational policies and procedures, family navigators, and community health workers.

Based on the data gathered, HTPCP developed a set of four tip sheets. These tip sheets provide strategies that HTPCP grantees use to promote diversity and cultural and linguistic competence. The sheets cover:

  • Engaging community and staff members as program liaisons;

  • Assessing cultural and linguistic competence among project staff;

  • Developing public-private partnerships to support interdisciplinary practice; and

  • Hiring bilingual and bicultural program staff.

HTPCP programs have made great strides in improving the cultural competence of services. Most notably, recent data from the HTPCP national outcome evaluation, conducted by the AAP, indicates that 77 percent of former HTPCP grant recipients report that they used the strategies to enhance the cultural competence of their services. Highlights of the evaluation are presented in the HTPCP infographic. However, as the data demonstrate, there is still room for improvement. 

Download, print and share the tip sheets to implement promising practices and lessons learned culled from the experiences of HTPCP grantees. Visit the AAP website to learn more about the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program.