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Cultural Competence Toolkit for Medical Professionals



Cultural Competence Toolkit

At Chicago Volunteer Doulas (CVD), we understand the critical importance of cultural competence in combating the stark disparities in Black maternal mortality. Our mission is deeply rooted in the belief that every birthing person deserves respectful, empathetic, and culturally sensitive care, particularly in our Black and Brown communities.


The statistics in Chicago paint a distressing picture: Black women in our city are six times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their White counterparts. This staggering disparity is not just a health crisis; it's a clear indicator of the systemic inequities that pervade our healthcare system. 


We are dedicated to changing this narrative. By working hand-in-hand with community Doulas, we are committed to ensuring that Culturally Competent Care shouldn't be considered a luxury but a standard practice available to all, especially in communities that have been historically marginalized.


Our approach is twofold: firstly, we aim to empower birthing people with support and knowledge that resonates with their cultural background. Secondly, we strive to educate and influence the broader healthcare system to adopt a more inclusive and empathetic approach to maternal care.


When working with Black and Brown Women and Birthing People, here are the top 7 goals you should aspire to hone or achieve.

  1. Active Listening 🤎: Always listen intently and empathetically to understand their unique experiences and needs.

  2. Cultural Sensitivity Training 🤎: Regularly engage in training to understand diverse cultural backgrounds and their impact on maternity care.

  3. Patient-Centered Care 🤎: Tailor care plans that respect and incorporate cultural practices and beliefs.

  4. Bias Awareness 🤎: Continuously self-reflect and challenge any personal biases affecting care.

  5. Community Collaboration 🤎: Work closely with community Doulas and organizations to bridge gaps in care.

  6. Advocacy and Support 🤎: Act as advocates for patients' needs, especially in navigating systemic barriers.

  7. Continuous Learning 🤎: Commit to ongoing education about the unique health challenges Black and Brown communities face.


Through this toolkit, we aim to foster a healthcare environment where cultural competence is not just an add-on but an integral part of how care is delivered. Together, we can work towards a future where the color of one's skin does not dictate the quality of maternal care a person receives.


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