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Five year old disabled boy in wheelchair lovingly surrounded by his three older brother and sisters

CLAS stands for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services.

When a person, business or provider operates using CLAS ideals and principles, they are delivering services which are respectful, easily understood and sensitive to the diverse cultural and communication needs of their clients.

We are also committed to serving all populations in ways that promote equity and respect, using the national CLAS standards as our guide.

National CLAS Standards

The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care act as a guide for individuals and health care organizations and are intended to advance health equity, improve quality of care and help eliminate health disparities.

The National Standards were first developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health in 2000. They provided a framework for all health care organizations to best serve the nation’s increasingly diverse communities.

In 2010, after ten years of success, the Office of Minority Health launched the National CLAS Standards Enhancement Initiative as a way to promote past accomplishments and to also ensure that the standards were properly understood and implemented.

The Enhancement Initiative lasted from 2010-2013, and it had three major components:

  • a public comment period
  • a systematic literature review
  • ongoing consultations with a community-led advisory committee
  • As a result of the Enhancement Initiative, the National CLAS Standards will continue to be the cornerstone for advancing health equity through culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

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Office of Minority Health