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Cultural Competency and Disaster Mental Health


Approximately 28 minutes

Course Description:

The podcast "Cultural Competency and Disaster Mental Health" features an interview with Dr. Sharyne Shiu Thornton, PhD. Topics covered include disaster mental health, medical interpreter preparedness, cultural competency, and the role of culture following a disaster.

This podcast was created by Pacific EMPRINTS, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Creation of the course was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Grant No. T01HP6427-0100.


This podcast fulfills, in part, the following Core Competencies for Teaching Emergency Preparedness to Health Professions Students and Clinical Personnel:
  1. Explain the concepts of and describe functional response roles for one’s profession, health agencies, and community members.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this podcast, participants will be able to:
  1. Describe methods to better integrate medical interpreters into the disaster response system.
  2. Identify how culture affects the healing process.
  3. Describe cultural humility and its role in cultural competence.

Target Audiences:

Public Health personnel, Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Veterinarians, Other Emergency Medical Services personnel


Sharyne Shiu Thornton, PhD
Dr. Thornton is a medical anthropologist and ethnic minority mental health specialist. Before becoming the Executive Director for the International District Housing Alliance in Seattle, Washington, she was a Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, for 12 years. She has over 25 years of experience as a diversity/cultural competency trainer with a specialized focus on providing services, developing, managing and evaluating programs for Asian/Pacific American immigrant/refugee populations.

Certificate of Completion:

A Certificate of Completion is available to be printed for this course upon completion of the post-test with a score of 80% or higher.

Cost: FREE*

*subject to change without notice.