On March 8 we’ll host our 2nd Language Access Forum: From Policy to Practice with Bruce L. Adelson, Esq. CEO of Federal Compliance Consulting LLC. Bruce is nationally recognized for his expertise concerning disability and language access, diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness. We caught up with Bruce and got some insight into what he thinks about challenges in healthcare, why eliminating implicit bias is so important, and what he’ll be listening to on Opening Day.
What kind of problems are you addressing at Federal Compliance Consulting?
One of the issues that keeps coming up has to do with implicit bias. Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. A provider might make assumptions about a person based on appearance failing to consider history and context. For example, he/she might ask a person who appears to be Latino, “Do you need an interpreter?” And that person will respond with, “But I speak English.” The provider might then go onto to say, “We can have an interpreter for you…” This interaction could continue until the patient becomes angry and frustrated. The solutions we’re providing are related to very effective, very direct training – for organizations and for individuals in recognizing this implicit bias and implementing strategies for eliminating it.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities/challenges in healthcare?
I’d say we have some work to do related to population health management. The makeup of our population is very different from 10, 20 years ago. I’m working with a large midwestern city on language and disability access. Twenty years ago, this city was almost monolithic and now it’s not. The Latino population in this community is exploding and healthcare – particularly maternity care has responded. They created a maternity suite that attracts and caters to very diverse patients and offers services taking into consideration the population’s unique needs. And you know what happened? Business increased by 3000%. These patient’s needs were met and exceeded with seamless care. And word got out in the community. “You care about me and my baby…” that’s a great referral program.
“It isn’t over ‘til it’s over!” Yogi Berra.
What does Healthy by Design mean to you? (Our vision is Greater Cincinnati is healthy by design and everyone is connected to quality, affordable healthcare)
I think that ties into the population health opportunity previously mentioned. Healthy by design involves an entire community inclusive of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, etc. coming together to provide healthcare that truly cares for everyone. I don’t relate to political correctness, I relate to doing the right thing which really is just a matter of ensuring quality care for everyone. We’re not all one size fits all.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To do my best not to live with regrets.
And since Opening Day is quickly approaching…you’re the cleanup hitter, bottom of the ninth in a tied game, with three outs, what’s your walk-up song?
That’s easy. It’s “Born to Run” In fact I’ll be playing that song when I get off the phone with you.
Interested in learning more? Click here to RSVP to our 2nd Language Access Forum: From Policy to Practice with Bruce L. Adelson, Esq.