Prevention Activity 2A: CLAS Standards
The RCORP-Implementation initiative includes a grant requirement to address part of Core Prevention Activity #2:
Provide and assess the impact of culturally and linguistically appropriate education to improve family members’, caregivers’, and the public’s understanding of evidence-based treatments and prevention strategies for SUD/OUD
Utilizing a micro community of practice (workgroup), a subset of members from the master consortium worked to consider how CLAS related to prevention, treatment, and recovery for opioid use disorder in rural and Appalachian communities in Ohio.
Who: Each local consortium determined the size and mix of representatives to participate in the CLAS workgroup micro learning community. Each consortium also utilized a locally driven community-based process to independently review the standards, including assessing current practices and prioritizing action plans to address CLAS. The flexibility to self-select participants resulted in a wide variety of people who engaged the process, including consortia members, direct service providers, and key stakeholders who influence OUD service delivery.
What: The workgroup met bi-weekly from March 2020 to June 2020 to identify opportunities for shared work and collaboration. Workgroup members discussed their processes, priorities for implementation, and initial changes they were making in their practices. They are in the process of developing a CLAS action plan and once finalized they will be available on their individual pages. In May 2020, the COP-RCORP Master Consortium adopted a position statement on culturally and linguistically appropriate services for all RCORP-related core activities. Each of the local consortia plans to incorporate the guiding principles into their community-based work.
How: The accordion table below presents the key steps in the process undertaken by the workgroup members. These steps include reviewing the standards, deciding how to prioritize them locally, creating an action plan for addressing CLAS, and creating the mater-level guidance statement for COP-RCORP. The last tab includes key resources for understanding CLAS.
The CLAS standards are intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by establishing a blueprint for health and health care organizations to provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs. (principal standard of CLAS
The National CLAS website details more information on the principal and 14 other Standards related to: Governance, Leadership and Workforce, Communication and Language Assistance, Engagement, Continuous Improvement, and Accountability.
Presentation on CLAS Standards Workgroup
In July 2020, the CLAS Workgroup members made a presentation to the HRSA Government Project Officer and JBS International regarding the CLAS workgroup and results of the process. This video showcases the four communities and their experiences.
1. 2-page Written Overview: a handy reference of the 15 standards, organized by thematic areas.
COP-RCORP has created an Action Planning Template to assist in moving from the early stages of planning into taking action to meet CLAS standards. This template includes steps to:
- Reflect on weaknesses and threats from the SWOT
- Identify the first steps needed to act
- Create a timeline for implementing
- List the resources needed to accomplish the tasks
- Bring the partners needed to the table
- Plan for ensuring accountability
After completing the template, COP-RCORP members met with a workgroup peer from another consortium to discuss their draft Local Action Plans and provide feedback/suggestions. Then, local consortia finalized their Local Action Plan independently.
To address changes related to COVID-19, we developed this form for communities to document how activities shifted during the pandemic.
Creating a Shared Vision
Using these supports, the COP-RCORP CLAS standards workgroup developed the following guidance for the Master Consortium and Local Consortia regarding how this initiative will address CLAS standards
The COP-RCORP Master Consortium recognizes the importance of utilizing the CLAS Standards when implementing all RCORP OUD/SUD activities and strategic plans in five rural communities in Ohio. We strive to engage in a continuous, data-driven, and collaborative process to address health disparities and promote respectful, responsive, and accessible services. By strengthening our knowledge, skills, and awareness of culturally and linguistically appropriate services, we demonstrate our commitment to enhance health equity across the evolving continuum of care.
Sustainability and Accountability
After completing action plans, the CLAS workgroup decided to meet quarterly to share progress and updates on their goals. Recognizing that addressing CLAS is not a one-time activity, the group has plans to decide on sustainable processes for the future of each local consortia.
Promoting Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services