Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)
The fallowing CLAS definition is provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) is a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. CLAS is about respect and responsiveness: Respect the whole individual and Respond to the individual’s health needs and preferences.
Health inequities in our nation are well documented. Providing CLAS is one strategy to help eliminate health inequities. By tailoring services to an individual’s culture and language preferences, health professionals can help bring about positive health outcomes for diverse populations.
The provision of health services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse patients can help close the gap in health outcomes. The pursuit of health equity must remain at the forefront of our efforts; we must always remember that dignity and quality of care are rights of all and not the privileges of a few.