Refugee Health

Resources for Providers

Language and Cultural Competency Resources

Cultural Competency Resources

The increased racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of patient populations presents both challenges and opportunities for health care providers. Cultural competency is defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.

Understanding, valuing, and accommodating cultural differences are essential for reducing health disparities and providing quality health care to all patients. Health services that are respectful of and responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of refugee patients can have a positive impact on health outcomes and the overall resettlement process.

Improving Language Access Resources

The Arizona Health Disparities Center has a large collection of tools and resources to facilitate better language access at your facility. The Language Identification Chart and "I Speak" cards can help you identify the language needs of your Low English Proficiency patients.

The Arizona Refugee Health Program has developed translated health education materials on important health topics in order to make the information more accessible to refugee patients. Distribution of these materials can help improve the health literacy of your patients as well as their comfort in a healthcare setting.


Interpretation refers to the verbal conversion of speech from one language to another while translation refers to conversion of written words from one language to another. There are many organizations that offer professional Interpretation and Translation Services and using a non-professional interpreter, like a family member or friend, is never advised. Understanding how to effectively use these services is important to delivering linguistically accessible care to your refugee patients.