Cambio de Colores 2005

Latinos in Missouri:
Connecting Research to Policy and Practice
Hoy y Mañana

Reynolds Alumni Center, University of Missouri-Columbia,
March 30, 31 & April 1st, 2005

Assessing Cultural Competency

Theme: Health

Moderator: Kym Hemley, Missouri Foundation for Health


  • Mary Lou Jaramillo, Executive Director, Mattie Rhodes Center; Gayle Laney, Clinical Director, Mattie Rhodes Center; John Fierro, Development Director, Mattie Rhodes Center
  • Cathy Anderson, Jewish Vocational Service, Kansas City

The first breakout sessions of Cambio de Colores 2005 included “Assessing Cultural Competency,” presented by Mary Lou Jaramillo, Executive Director of the Mattie Rhodes Center, and Cathy Anderson of Jewish Vocational Service, both in Kansas City.

“Cultural competency,” according to Okokon O. Udo and cited in Anderson’s presentation, “means…that you hold a deep respect for cultural differences and are eager to learn, and are willing to accept that there are many ways of viewing the world.”

Anderson and JVS train medical and social service organizations in cultural competency throughout the state of Missouri. Training in cultural competency includes understanding common cultural beliefs and practices.

Jaramillo then presented a report released by the Mattie Rhodes Center in 2003, “Cultural Competency and Mental Health Needs of Hispanics in Jackson County, Missouri.” The report gathered information on the growing population of Hispanics in the region. A survey was also conducted among the population to realize the needs of the community.

From this information, the Mattie Rhodes Center then developed a set of recommendations for other organizations striving to reach diverse communities.

“Both of these organizations are excellent models,” said session moderator Kym Hemley of the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Gayle Laney of the Mattie Rhodes added, “The key to cultural competency is humility. We don’t know it all, but we’re still striving.”

Day 1, Wednesday March 30. Breakout Sessions 3:30 PM, Breakout 4.

By Rachel Higginbotham

By Rachel Higginbotham

This conference report contributed by

Mid-Missouri bilingual newspaper.