In the spring of 2008, Dr. Lisa Liu, a Kaiser Permanente (KP) physician, proposed a joint partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the Valley High School Health TECH Academy to address a growing need – culturally competent health care. This partnership gave birth to the Cultural Awareness Community Health Education (CACHE) outreach project. Health TECH students from identified ethnic backgrounds work within their own community to identify public health problems that are specific to their ethnic/cultural group. Dr. Liu assigns a physician to each student group to serve as a mentor, advisor, and evaluator. In collaboration with their KP physician, each group designs a culturally competent, presentation for their community group. During their junior and senior year, each CACHE group delivers their presentation to their cultural group in a community setting. CACHE students have made presentations to the Hispanic, Hmong, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, and youth communities in Sacramento. Three of our CACHE groups have presented on radio and one CACHE group was interviewed by Univision, the local Latino television station. The CACHE program represents a paradigm shift from the standardized approach, reflecting changing demographics.
CACHE Mission Statement:
It is the mission of the Valley High School Health TECH CACHE program to design and deliver culturally competent, culturally relevant health information. This approach improves health outcomes by inspiring people to engage in healthy behaviors. KP doctors and Health TECH Academy teachers prepare students to serve as public health ambassadors to their cultural groups, promoting cultural competence among future health care workers. The CACHE program serves as a model for developing culturally competent future health care workers, enabling the health care system to improve access to quality care.