Cultural Sensitivity Training Available March 13 For Health Care, Social Services

Cultural Sensitivity Training Available March 13 For Health Care, Social Services

Compañeros en Salud is offering a unique opportunity of health care and social service professionals to learn how to connect and serve people of varying cultures.

The Tuesday, March 13, workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in the Buckley and McAuley Rooms of Presence Mercy Medical Center, 1325 N. Highland Ave., Aurora.

The cost is $25 for Compañeros en Salud / Partners in Health and not-for-profit members and $35 for non-members. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Workshop Description

Participants of this workshop will learn about the importance of cultural relevance and language access in health care and social services and will be introduced to conceptual models and instructional strategies on how to put these concepts into practice.


  • Identify how to effectively respond to patients and clients’ cultural and language needs.
  • Define ways to provide culturally relevant care within a patient and family centered perspective.
  • Identify knowledge and skills of health care needs and health disparities of diverse populations.
  • Describe ways on how to improve service delivery for limited English proficient (LEP) patients and clients.
  • Review ways on how to promote and foster a culture of learning about diversity within their workplace.

Workshop Presenters

Three top talents in the industry will present the workshop.

Mansha Mirza, assistant professor, Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Mirza’s scholarly interests address health and social service disparities among low-income, underserved communities, with a special focus on immigrant and refugee newcomers.

She is currently working on research projects that seek to enhance healthcare services for these communities using interventions such as community capacity building, information and community technology applications, trained language interpreters and para professionals.

In her work, Dr. Mirza collaborates with various community organizations. Dr. Mirza is also the lead instructor of Research Methods in Occupational Therapy, a required course in the MS program.

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, professor, department head, Occupational Therapy, Disability and Human Development at UIC

Dr. Suarez-Balcazar is professor and head of the Department of Occupational Therapy at UIC.

She received her PhD from the University of Kansas in Child and Developmental Psychology, with a concentration in Community Psychology. She holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Psychology at UIC.

Her research interest and expertise covers several interrelated areas: Development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based healthy lifestyles interventions for youth and young adults with disabilities and their families; the study of cultural competency and its role in addressing health disparities; and the study of community capacity building for evaluation. Her research is conducted within a community-based participatory research approach and empowerment framework.

She is currently directing a community engagement research project supported by The Chicago Community Trust in which she is examining the impact of a culturally tailored health promotion community intervention.

Olga Garcia-Bedoya, MD, Internal Medicine at UIC

Dr. Olga Garcia is an internal medicine specialist at UI Health. Dr. Garcia is an expert in caring for people with chronic illness, diabetes, and hypertension.

Her interests also include preventive medicine and women’s health. Dr. Garcia can also speak Spanish fluently.