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Cultural Competence Exchange Newsletter

November 1999

This special edition of the Cultural Competence Exchange reflects important changes since the last edition, a new name, an expanded mission and new logo too! The Maternal and Child Health National Center for Cultural Competence is now the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC). The expanded mission has three distinct components:

  1. The original component of working with Maternal and Child Health Title V Programs concerned with Children and Youth with Special Health Needs and their families (MCH/CSHN) remains the same.
  2. The NCCC is adding two Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) programs. One is the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), which is consistent with the NCCC?s mission to assist health care programs as they design, implement and evaluate culturally competent delivery systems. The BPHC Project focuses on programs such as Community, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless Grantees, Health Schools ? Health Communities Grantees, Health Services for Residents of Public Housing Grantees, Primary Care Associations and Primary Care Offices.
  3. The third component calls for working with another HRSA program ? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Other Infant Death (SUID). The NCCC will work with programs providing support to families affected by SUID.

Diana Denboba continues as our project officer for the MCH/CSHN component and provides coordination among the three HRSA components. (Please see New Federal Partners Support NCCC for description of plans for each new component.)

The NCCC will be expanding some of its activities that were developed for the CSHN component and adding new ones for BPHC and the SUID components. The NCCC is expanding its pool of consultants on cultural competence to encompass those with expertise appropriate for the two new components. The Center also responds to technical assistance calls from programs funded by the BPHC and SUID Program through our toll free phone number (800-788-2066) and e-mail ( This edition of the Cultural Competence Exchange describes the efforts of the children with special health care needs component as well as our two new components. We are delighted to be working with our new Federal partners and broadening the infusion of cultural competence in health services.

As the NCCC has expanded its focus, the Center has added new personnel as well. During the past year, the NCCC has welcomed:

Suzanne Bronheim, PhD, is a Senior Policy Analyst for the NCCC. She is a clinical child psychologist who has served children with or at risk for disabilities for thirty years and has also worked for the past fifteen years on policy issues related to children with special health care needs and their families. She coordinates the Communities Can! Coalition. Supported by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention, the coalition helps communities provide integrated, family-centered, culturally competent supports and services.

Ben de Guzman is the Project Assistant for the MCHB/CSHN component. The son of Filipino immigrants, he brings a uniquely bicultural Asian/Pacific Islander perspective to the NCCC. He lives in the District of Columbia and is involved in a number of national and community based organizations serving Filipino American and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.

Diane Lewis is the Project Assistant for the BPHC and SUID components. She will be working with the team on meeting planning, answering calls and supporting the development of products. Diane has a BS in Management and International Business from Penn State University. Her background in international business has led to her understanding of the importance of culture and attending to cultural differences in human interactions.

Suganya Sockalingam, PhD, is the Assistant Project Director. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance, consultation and training to the three components of the Center. She was formerly the Director of the Office of Multicultural Health with the Oregon State Health Division. As the Director, she was charged with moving the Health Division along the cultural competence continuum to become an organization that ensures equal access to all and quality services to medically under-served and indigent populations of Oregon. Suganya has worked in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Nicaragua and in both the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Northeast. Her passion for travel has taken her for long periods of time to Japan, Korea, England, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Australia. Suganya was an original member of the Advisory Committee for the CSHN component beginning in 1995.

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Page last modified December 1999

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