The National Department of Health and Human Services describes CLAS as “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.”
The National CLAS Standards Implementation Framework: the framework highlights the following six areas for action: (1) Foster cultural competence; (2) Reflect and respect diversity; (3) Ensure language access; (4) Build Community partnerships; (5) Collect diversity data; and (6) Benchmark, plan, and evaluate.
In 2021 Minnesota lawmakers dedicated funds to “disability services, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment providers” to apply CLAS standards in their care. The Department of Human Services is now working with Minnesotans on the distribution of those funds.
Minnesota Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards Statewide Plan
The legislature directed DHS to develop a statewide implementation and transition plan for culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) national standards, including technical assistance for providers to transition to CLAS standards and to improve disparate treatment outcomes. DHS is required to consult with substance use disorder treatment providers, lead agencies, individuals who receive substance use disorder treatment services, and individuals who are Black, indigenous, people of color, and linguistically diverse in the development of the implementation and transition plans. This section is effective July 1, 2021. (MN Laws 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 7, Article 11, Section 40)
Minnesota Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Implementation Grants
The legislature appropriated $2,275,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $2,206,000 in fiscal year 2023 from the general fund for grants to disability services, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment providers to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services standards, according to the implementation and transition plan developed by the commissioner. This section is effective July 1, 2021. (MN Laws 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 7, Article 16, Section 2, subdivision 31, paragraph a)
Members of the public are encouraged to attend either of the two virtual community engagement meetings on June 22 or 23. The content of these two meetings will be the same. We are holding two webinars to allow for greater engagement with the community.
Community engagement meeting 1: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 10:00 am CST