Archive for March, 2009

Cultural Competence Training – Ir Ganim Clalit Clinic (part 2) – March 23, 2009

March 23rd, 2009

Today we held the second part of our first workshop on cultural competency in serving the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem. The training was delivered to all staff members of the Clalit Primary Care Clinic in the Ir Ganim neighborhood.

Michal Schuster at the Second workshop in Ir Ganim Clalit clinic

Michal Schuster at the Second workshop in Ir Ganim Clalit clinic

This time we focused on the use of interpreters (telephonic and face-to-face) in the clinic, as well as learning how to work with a cultural liaison. The Ir Ganin clinic employs a part-time Ethiopian Cultural Liaison, funded by the Ministry of Health. We used simulations to improve the learning process.

Using a cultural liaison in a simulation

Using a cultural liaison in a simulation

Building on the positive feedback we have received, this training will be provided to the other clinics that serve Ethiopian population in Jerusalem.

A nurse participating in a simulated case

A nurse participating in a simulated case

Ethiopian Community, Talpiot, March 12, 2009

March 12th, 2009

We continue with our efforts, together with Mosaica, to create better dialogue between the Ethiopian community in Talpiyot and the many agencies that serve them. Although some achievements were made (reported in previous posts), the  main difficulty of lack of trust and understanding still persists.

Today we (Mosaica and the JICC) had a meeting with most of the establishment agencies, community council, welfare department, absorption authority etc., were we presented our analysis of the situation, including three major challenges. According to our analysis the main problem is the proliferation of agencies that work with the residents concurrently and with no coordination between them. This can be harmful in any place, but it is worse when serving the Ethiopian community, which finds it hard to navigate the Israeli system. The second challenge is the cross-cultural communication, which is not working well due to the different value systems of the cultures involved. The last pressing issue is the tendency of the Ethiopian community to attribute the behavior of the agencies to racism. The fact that almost all professional staff members are not Ethiopian, and that they have never learnt how to work with the Ethiopian community, does not make the situation easier.

Our suggestion was to provide cultural competence trainings to the agencies that work with the Ethiopian community, as well as train the community leaders to deal with the agencies who serve them. We are pleased to report that the agencies accepted our proposal and a few dates were secured for trainings. In parallel, we will meet with the leaders of the Ethiopian community to talk with them about this new proposal.

Cultural Competence Training – Ir Ganim Clalit Clinic – March 2, 2009

March 2nd, 2009

Following a strategic planning process for adapting Clalit’s clinics to Ethiopian patients, we held today the first workshop on cultural competence in serving the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem. The work with Clalit is a component of the Jerusalem Cultural Competence in Health Project initiated by the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center and the Jerusalem Foundation. In this project we aspire to make the Jerusalem district of the Clalit HMO much more culturally competent.

This specific workshop was delivered to all staff members of the Clalit Primary Care Clinic in the Ir Ganim neighborhood. The clinic serves 450 Ethiopian families, most of which arrived to Israel about 10 years ago. Our approach to cultural competence trainings, based on international experience, is to provide tools that will be relevant to other cultures in the neighborhood as well. Yet, in this training, emphasis was given to the unique Ethiopian case.

First workshop in Ir Ganim Clalit clinic

First workshop in Ir Ganim Clalit clinic

The Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center has developed a training based on a series of case-studies. Some of the cases are raised by the participants themselves and others are formulated specifically for the training and presented by the JICC staff with the help of a professional medical actress. In Ir Ganim we were happy to work with an artist, Ethiopian by origin, that played the patient in these case simulations.    Through the analysis of the cases, the participants learn relevant models and tools: how to create better patient-provider inter-cultural communication, cross-cultural communication tools, best ways to work with interpreters and tele-interpreters and, importantly, how to deal with culturally-oriented political issues that may divert the staff from its professional work. Our experience shows that in Israel, probably more than in other Western countries, political issues related to racism, religious coercion, and other inter-group tensions, may create major challenges to the staff.

Medical Ethiopian professional artist in the Ir Ganim training

Medical Ethiopian professional artist in the Ir Ganim training

The second part of the training in Ir ganim will take place on March 23. In the meanwhile, the feedback provided at the end of the training indicated that this was a very important and fruituil training experience. We all look forward to the next meeting.

Our next step following the training in Ir Ganim is to provide similar trainings in the rest of the Clalit Jerusalem district clinics serving the Ethiopian community.