Cultural Competency

Multicultural Health Brokers Video (

Thank you to Carl Rush and Sara Torres University of Ottawa for sharing this amazing video

This a great video! It represents the cultural and linguistic diversity of Community Health Workers and highlights the importance of the basic skills of intercultural communication and cultural humility while also demonstrating the need for a diversity in the CHW workforce ie No one CHW is able to be multicultural nor needs to know all the languages being served in any one community.

We, the Multicultural Health Brokers Video (, reach into our communities, working hand-in-hand with those we serve, responding to the heartbeat of their daily realities: their struggles and their aspirations (Canada, Published on Oct 28, 2013)


“Community Outreach Workers: The Key to Access”

Inspiring 1993 C-SPAN Video featuring five passionate outreach workers. Their multicultural messages are still very much relevant in 2014 highlighting the importance of our lived experience as part of our professional expertise.

In a session entitled, “Community Outreach Workers: The Key to Access,” panelists discussed the provision of prenatal and pediatric health care to poor communities through trained outreach workers. The panelists described improvement in the care of mothers and babies in Mexican-American, Southeast Asian and other communities of color across the U.S.

  • Angelina Borbon-Educator
  • Viola Muniz Gomez Coordinator Rural Opportunities->AIDS Program
  • Lillian Lew Nutritionist St. Mary’s Hospital->Southeast Asian Health Project
  • Gaila Turner- Alameda County Health Agency
  • Maria Spencer- Native American Health Center



Community Health Workers Known as Promotores Enhance Access to Culturally Tailored Services for Elderly, Low-Income Racial/Ethnic Minorities, Leading to Improvements in Mental Health


The Union of Pan Asian Communities manages and oversees the Elder Multicultural Access and Support Services (more commonly known as EMASS) Program, which uses community health workers known as promotores to provide culturally competent mental health education and services to elderly racial and ethnic minorities in San Diego County. Working with clients of similar racial and ethnic backgrounds and often of the same age, promotores offer group classes covering recreation, healthy living, and mental health education; one-on-one counseling and support; referrals to language-concordant mental health providers; and transportation to, and translation services at, appointments with medical and mental health providers. The program has enhanced access to mental health screening, referral, education, and peer support, leading to improved mental health status and health literacy…


Community partners recruited many of the promotores, including promotores from the African-American community (selected by the Urban League), the Somali community (Somali Family Service), and the Latino community (San Diego County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness). Union of Pan Asian Communities UPAC recruited a promotora from the Filipino community.

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The Union of Pan Asian Communities’ Elder Multicultural Access and Support Services (EMASS) Program received a Public Health Champion Award from San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency in 2012. The awards are components of the Live Well, San Diego! Initiative, the county’s 10-year plan to improve the health and safety of local residents and communities. EMASS was recognized for its contributions to Aging and Independence Services.


Agnes Hajek, ACSW 
UPAC-EMASS Program Manager
200 North Ash Street, Suite 100
Escondido, CA 92027
Tel: (760) 233-1984, Ext. 202
Fax:(760) 233-1987

Dixie Galapon, PhD 
Mental Health Services Director
Union of Pan Asian Communities
5348 University Avenue, Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92123
Tel: (619) 229-2999
Fax: (619) 229-2998


Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC)

Mission : The mission of the Union of Pan Asian Communities is to improve the general well-being and education of the Asian, Pacific Islander and other ethnic communities of San Diego County. UPAC recognizes the diverse ethnic and cultural identities and strengths of these communities and their need for self-sufficiency.
Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, the National Urban League has 95 affiliates serving 300 communities, in 35 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.
Somali Family Service
Years of community service
Somali Family Service, guided by its community champions, helps Somali and other African families in becoming responsible, independent and contributing members of San Diego through its programs that promote health, educational and economic success, and leadership efforts.