International Effectiveness Centers

Cultural Competency Program

The imperative need for Cultural Competency has been well defined and established by State and Federal legislative mandates.

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The imperative need for Cultural Competency has been well defined and established by State and Federal legislative mandates. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Department of Health and Human Services regulations require all recipients of federal funding from HHS to provide meaningful access to LEPs at no cost to them [45 CFR § 80.3(b)(2).

Program Objectives

To identify and put into practice the cultural knowledge and awareness for effectively working with and treating patients of different cultures, religions and languages.

This program is designed to develop and enhance the awareness of cultural differences and needs of patients by health care providers. Each program is tailored to the client’s community diversity profiles. Once this is determined, the course will emphasize the cultures covered by the client’s facilities.

Program Outline

A patient’s culture and religion often shape what constitutes to them an acceptable form of treatment and interaction with their health care providers.

Some examples are:

Eye contact. In some cultures, eye contact is considered aggressive or hostile. An ill-informed health care provider may consider lack of eye contact as being evasive.

“Do you understand?” While this may seem to be a harmless question, in many cultures it represents questioning of that person’s intellectual ability to understand. So the health care provider may get a nod in response. The provider with cultural knowledge will be able to determine whether the patient did in fact understand.

Religion, Feng shui and Chinese medical beliefs.

The Chinese religions are predominantly Bhuddism, Taosim, Confucianism, and Islam. Central to many of the Chinese religions is a strong belief in feng shui. These two words mean wind and water. It is based on the idea that man and nature have to co-exist in harmony. Hills represent dragons. A hospital located at a spot that is considered the eye of the dragon would obviously irritate the dragon, and be potentially dangerous.

The positioning of a bed can make an important impact on a Chinese patient.

Closely linked to feng shui is herbal medicine. To dismiss its efficacy can alienate the patient’s trust in the medicinal knowledge of the care provider. The Chinese are accustomed to using homeopathic cures alongside western-style medicines. Knowing that, the provider understands that the patient will probably use herbal medicine once they are at home and can help advise which herbal medicines can or cannot be used alongside the prescribed medication. The worst thing is to ignore it all together.


  • Understanding the role that traditions and health beliefs play in a patient’s behavior.
  • Understanding and appreciating different cultural viewpoints.
  • Understanding the differences between medical cultures.
  • Being able to discuss and address a patient’s perception of health beliefs, disbeliefs and fears.


The program’s success lies in the interactive “hands on approach.” The workshop leaders are joined with natives to the cultures being addressed. After each lecture, participants will take part in role playing simulating real life situations that they will be involved in. This will be followed by a constructive critique.


  • At your facilities
  • At our Marin County Center

Schedules: Please request a schedule.

Choice of programs:

Limited to your staff only. Minimum of 5 participants.

Open enrollment: No minimum of participants. Seminars will have attendees from various facilities.


In general, health care providers have the best of intentions to deliver professional and competent care to patients of all cultures. This program removes pre-conceived notions leading to unintentional disparity of care and delivers the self awareness, knowledge and cultural skills to achieve a high level of excellence in health care.

Your team’s proficiency in navigating the intricacies of pronoun usage has not only facilitated clear and respectful communication but has also contributed significantly to the overall quality of our client care. In a healthcare setting like ours, where sensitivity to individual identities and preferences is paramount, your attention to detail and understanding of pronoun language nuances have truly set you apart.

We value the partnership we have with your organization and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that language barriers are minimized, and all our patients receive the highest quality of care. Please extend our gratitude to your team for their dedication and proficiency in providing language access services that make a meaningful impact on our clinic’s operations.

– Lily Vu, LCSW

Program Manager
County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services

We have been using International Effectiveness Centers for our translation needs, and are extremely pleased with their work. They are professional, very responsive to our needs, and always on time with our deadlines. I recommend them highly.

– Beth Saiki, MPH

Director of Lung Health Programs
American Lung Association

…IEC helped my client, San Francisco Headstart, translate all their forms into Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish. San Francisco Headstart is a nonprofit educational organization that works with immigrant families. IEC was able to translate and create files for us to print. They made a tough job easy.

– Jeannie Yee

General Manager
Giant Horse Printing, Inc.

I am pleased to recommend IEC for future organizations and businesses. Not only can IEC be an asset to a company, but also provide a competitive advantage. Their work is exceptional and I continute to hear high praise from customers as well as colleagues. Magellan does not consider IEC as just a vendor, but a partner in delivering quality communications to an increasingly global marketplace.

– Erika Murray

Project Manager
Magellan Health Services

Each office that has used IEC has been very complimentary regarding your interpreters. They are professional, patient, respectful and above all are excellent interpreters. We look forward to another year of working with IEC.

– Bobbi George

General Manager
Tender Loving Care

Contra Costa Health Services has contracted the interpreter and translation services of International Effectiveness Center (IEC) for the past five years. During this period, Taryk Rouchdy, President of IEC, and his staff, have been consistently there to facilitate our need for telephonic and in person interpreters. The quality of his interpreters has been very professional. When there were any concerns raised by staff, he and his staff have been there to quickly expedite the matter.

Overall, staff at CCHS has been very satisfied with the work and working relationship that we have had with IEC for the past five years. I personally, as manager of language services for the department, have much respect for the professionalism that Taryk and his staff has conducted themselves when providing services for us. I have no hesitation in recommending the services of IEC.

– José Martin, LMFT

RHD Language Services Manager
Contra Costa Health Services
International Effectiveness Centers

International Effectiveness Centers
Phone: (800) 292-9246