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Health Equity and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)


To assist patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), dialysis facilities, transplant centers, care providers, and stakeholders in achieving alignment with CMS priorities, the HSAG ESRD Networks and the ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) are providing the below educational resources, webinars and tools to promote Health Equity. We are committed to addressing health care disparities and working towards achieving optimal health outcomes for all.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) defines Health Equity as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people, where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, preferred language, or other factors that affect access to care and health outcomes. To learn more on CMS’s Health Equity Pillar visit

  • Understanding Health Equity (—This handout explains common terms when discussing health equity.
  • Understanding Health Equity (Spanish) (
  • A Change Package To Improve Health Equity (—Includes actionable change ideas, collected from dialysis facilities that performed above the national average for patients moving to a home modality or placed on a transplant waitlist, despite their patients’ residing in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods and having complex health-related social needs. The change ideas are intended as a menu of interventions from which leaders can choose to implement within their facilities.
  • Think Cultural Health (—Sponsored by the Office of Minority Health and features information, continuing education opportunities, resources, and more for health and health care professionals to learn about culturally and linguistically appropriate services, or CLAS.
  • Advancing Equity at HHS (—HHS is working to shift the culture, resources, and approaches to institutionalize and sustain a focus on equity over time.
  • Paving the Road to Health Equity (OHE-CDC)—The Office of Health Equity exists to ensure health equity is embedded in an all-of public health approach to overcoming persistent health disparities and health inequities across a range of population groups that disproportionately experience poor health outcomes.

We all need to be able to find, understand, and use health information and services to make informed decisions about our healthcare. CLAS Standards were developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals and works to reduce health disparities in order to achieve health equity. The National Standards for CLAS are a set of 15 action steps intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and organizations to implement CLAS. The following resources are intended to assist dialysis and transplant teams with providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.