Diversity Competence: Tailoring the Scope of Cultural Competence Education using an Innovative Self-Reflective Training Curriculum (FL UCEDD/LEND)

August 15, 2016

With widespread recognition of the need for cultural competence being more prevalent than ever in today's diverse society, Dr. Kira Knight has embraced her role as the AUCD Diversity Fellow of the University of Miami's Mailman Center for Child Development. Eager to foster change - a change that embraces diversity, appreciates common humanity, and channels inclusion, Kira is in the process of revising and strengthening the Cultural Competence curriculum for LEND/UCEDD trainees, medical students, residents and fellows throughout the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Health System in Miami, Florida. This curriculum development project involves the implementation of an innovative, online cultural competency training module series, coupled with in-person workshops, geared towards reducing health disparities and barriers to healthcare, and cultivating university-wide culturally competent healthcare professionals.

During her first semester of the Diversity Fellowship, Kira spent ample time researching scholarly manuscripts surrounding the field of cultural competence (CC) - particularly in medical education, along with building on her historical knowledge and familiarity with current culturally-related issues. She also performed a critical analysis of health disparities, disability culture, implicit bias and intersectionality since a key focus of the program is to broaden the scope of health disparities to address the intersection of disability and minority status. By recognizing critical gaps in cultural competence education, Kira acknowledges four keystone principles: 1) implicit bias training, 2) intersectionality, 3) leadership development, and 4) self-reflection, all of which are vital to address in any cultural competence curriculum. With this in mind, Kira commenced teaching and conducting interactive presentations to increase awareness and cultivate diverse and culturally competent thinking.

Under the supervision of Dr. Kimberly Reynolds, Kira cofounded and spearheaded the university's Cultural Competence Curriculum Consortium (4C) - a group that currently consists of faculty, staff, LEND/UCEDD trainees, medical students, and residents. With the group's involvement and valuable feedback, their collaborative efforts have allowed for the selection a CC model that can best be tailored to the university setting and the diverse population dynamics of Miami-Dade County.

To date, Kira is diligently working and testing the online component of the curriculum with hopes of piloting the online series in Fall 2016. By providing the LEND/UCEDD trainees with a monthly one-hour presentation on Cultural Competence during their Understanding the Family Perspective (UFP) rotation, Kira constantly assesses the content material, and affords the opportunity to continue developing her leadership and teaching skills in an adult learning environment.