CLAS Initiative


In an effort to reduce health disparities and better serve our state?s Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities, HEALTH develops policies, guidance, and tools to implement the National Standards for the Provision of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Healthcare Settings (CLAS Standards). The CLAS Standards, developed by the Office of Minority Health in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, encompass mandates, guidelines and recommendations for health care organizations to achieve in order to ensure that people with LEP have meaningful access to health services. HEALTH collaborates with health care partners to improve access to high quality language assistance services, promote culturally competent care, and implement organizational supports that allow all people accessing health services to receive equitable and effective treatment in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

2012 Accomplishments and Milestones

  • As of November 2011, 100% of all contracts and other procurement documents have RI DOH updated boiler plate language that require the adherance of CLAS standards to all entities that receive funding from the DOH RI.
  • To date, 8630 Spanish,2930 Portuguese, and 1201 French ""I SPEAK"" brochures were distributed to various organizations and CBOs
  • A total of 5 language access complaints filed against hospitals, private healthcare facilities, and health center. Two of these language access complaints are currently under investigation by the Region I Office of Civil Rights Office.
  • "I Speak" brochures have been developed in 5 other languages, namely, Amharic, Kirundi, Swahili, Chinese, and Arabic
  • Developed a document that capture most current exisiting and revised language access laws, regulations and accrediation and all key stakeholders within RI hospitals have received this document.