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Prevention Activity 2A: CLAS Standards

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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.

Why: The National 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)

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. 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.

Master Consortium Position Statement: Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

May 4, 2020

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.


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.

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.

Video Link Here

CLAS Training

COVID-19 Interrupted a lot of the CLAS Workgroup plans. However, members were still able to provide a state-wide, virtual CLAS training. The training flyer and presentation slides are linked below.

Presentation Flyer

Presentation Slides

language matters.PNG

Research has shown that the words we use to describe substance use

disorders (SUD) have a significant impact on those struggling with

addiction and how they are treated. Addiction Policy Forum’s three

minute video explains why five commonly used addiction terms

need to be erased from your vocabulary, and offers suggestions for

what to say instead.

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