Oregon Senate takes up bill for cultural competence in health care

The bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives, 46-12, on April. 10.

The Albany Tribune has the story.

According to the Tribune, “Ineffective patient communication leads to misdiagnosis and improper treatments that drive health inequities.” These, in turn, drive up costs and hurt quality of care.

100 Questions and Answers About Indian Americans going into production

The 100-question-and-answer guide about Indians in America is moving into production. This is the first guide in a cultural competence series being published by the Michigan State University School of Journalism.

We plan cultural competence guides about Arab Americans, Native Americans and others.

Man who beat Sikh driver charged with hate crime

In another case where a Sikh was attacked because someone thought he was Iranian or Iraqi, the suspect is being charged in Seattle with a hate crime.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in October the 49-year-old beat, punched, stomped on, tore the beard of and yelled at the Sikh taxi driver, a native of India. The driver was wearing a turban. The suspect called the man an Iraqi and an Iranian.

Several times, Sikhs have been victims of mistaken-nationality hate crimes. The distinction is covered in “100 Questions and Answers About Indian Americans,” coming out this month to begin a series of guides in cultural competence.

Bank set up to do business with Indians accused of bashing

The Detroit Free Press reports on a lawsuit accusing executives at Lotus Bank, in Novi, Mich., of bashing Indians and calling them names. The bank was incorporated to do business with the Detroit area’s Indian population. That is the largest Asian group in Metro Detroit.

The suit was filed by two Indian clients who had taken out a mortgage on a Travelodge in Jackson, Mich. “100 Questions & Answers About Indian Americans” covers Indian investment in the lodging industry. One reason Indians were chosen for this guide, due out from the Michigan State University School of Journalism this month, is the growing Indian presence in Jackson.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Lotus Bank has said it disciplined the managers involved and is taking steps to increase understanding.

U.S. skilled-worker visa applications are going fast

The Wall Street Journal reports that the nation will exhaust this year’s allotment of applications for skilled-worker visas on Friday. The application season opened on Monday.

Sixty-five thousand of the H-1B visas were made available for foreign workers with at least a bachelor’s degree and special skills, often in information technology and engineering.

A whole year’s allotment of H-1B visas has not “sold out” in one week since 2008. They usually go to individuals identified by U.S. employers.

The Wall Street Journal H-1B visa article explains the effects of the run, which companies want them and how they are awarded.

Dept. of Defense works on raising cultural competence

Language Magazine describes efforts in the U.S. Defense Department’s year-old Defense Language and National Security Office to use cultural competence training to influence policy and recruiting.

Among the successes highlighted for 2012 are “winning the Serious Games Award for the Cross-Cultural Competence Trainer mobile app” and “creating Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainers for South America, Southeast Asia, Hispaniola, and Central America . . .”

The Language Magazine article.

NY, NJ nursing schools amp up cultural competency training

On Nurse.com, freelance writer Lisette Hilton details the ways that nursing schools are incorporting more cultural competence into their curricula.

Hilton quotes Yvonne Wesley, adjunct associate professor at New York University’s College of Nursing, who shows the evolution in thinking:

“We started with awareness. We went to sensitivity, and now we’re at competency,” she said. “So, nurses are expected to be competent in other people’s cultures.”

Cultural competence article on Nurse.com