By Sandra T. Chang, Ph.D., Cultural Competency Unit Program Manager 


The ARDI Division – Cultural Competency Unit (CCU) is celebrating its completion of the annual 2023 Cultural Competence Plan Report, which is based on the Cultural Competence Plan Requirements (CCPR) set forth by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The report is a systemwide narrative that features the remarkable work by LACDMH programs to serve L.A. County communities with culturally and linguistically mindful, inclusive, equitable, and relevant approaches. For 2023, the CCU interacted with over 60 departmental sources of information inclusive of administrative and clinical programs. All these efforts culminated in comprehensive and informative report, which was praised during the 2023 External Quality Review Organization (EQRO) system review during the week October 16th.


The 460-page report is organized in the following eight areas of required content:

  • Criterion (CR)1: Overview of LACDMH’s commitment to cultural, linguistic and equitable service delivery
  • CR 2: Data, assessment, and analysis of service delivery by race/ ethnicity, gender identity, age group, language, Service Area, Medi-Cal and 133% Federal Poverty Level and three MHSA components
  • CR 3: Strategies to reducing racial/ethnic, cultural and linguistic disparities
  • CR 4: Demographics, goals and activities of the LACDMH Cultural

Competency Committee

  • CR5: Cultural competence-related trainings available to the workforce
  • CR 6: Efforts to develop a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce
  • CR 7: Linguistic capacity of the system
  • CR 8: Adaptation of services to serve the community in innovative ways


It is my professional joy and pride as the CCU’s program manager to publicly recognize and praise the staff who made this monumental endeavor possible:

  • Hyun Lee, Clinical Psychologist II
  • Guadalupe Aguilar, Intermediate Typist Clerk
  • Christine De La Cruz, Mental Health Services Coordinator II

Their steadfast commitment, dedication, and relentless teamwork provided a strong foundation for the long journey leading to the successful completion of the report. A special acknowledgment is given to Dr. Hyun Lee for her multiple contributions throughout the process of report development. Additionally, other members of the CCU and the ARDI Division provided invaluable support by submitting content in their areas of expertise and serving as internal reviewers of the report at the time it was in draft form. Special thankfulness and appreciation are expressed to Dr. Rebecca Gitlin, Dr. Luis Guzman, Dr. Anna Yaralyan, Mr. Julio Celada, Ms. Regina Ramirez, Ms. Kelly Wilkerson, and Ms. Adriana Carrillo. Additionally, the team effort leading to the 2023 Cultural Competence Plan Report completion included the remarkable support received from the Prevention Bureau – ARDI Division management as well as members of the executive management team. The CCU is particularly grateful to Ms. Connie Draxler – Acting Chief Deputy Director, Ms. Mary Barraza – Senior Deputy for Prevention and Child Wellbeing Administration, Dr. Robert Byrd – Prevention Bureau Deputy Director and Ms. Mirtala Parada Ward – ARDI Division Program Manager III.


Together, the ARDI Division – CCU acknowledges and extends its gratefulness to all programs who provided key information for inclusion in the 2023 Cultural Competence Plan Report. These key programs exemplify the collective impact of day-to-day departmental operations in service of Los Angeles County’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities. We take the opportunity to honor them for their invaluable contributions. In the words of the famous philosopher Voltaire, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Thank you all for sharing your subject matter expertise, time, and quality reporting leading to the comprehensive systemwide report.

  • Administrative Services Division
  • Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program (AOT)
  • CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility for Kids) and General Relief Opportunities for Work (GROW) Programs
  • Chief Information Office Bureau (CIOB)
  • Application Development Team
  • VSEE
  • Child Welfare Division
  • Crisis Residential Treatment Program
  • DMH/DHS Collaboration Program
  • Emergency Outreach and Triage Division
    • Law Enforcement Teams
    • Psychiatric Mobile Response Team (PMRT) and Therapeutic Transport Team (TTT)
    • School Threat Assessment Response Team (START) Program
  • Enriched Residential Care Program
  • Faith-Based Advocacy Council
  • Full Service Partnership
  • Geriatric Evaluation Networks Encompassing Services Intervention Support (GENESIS) Program
  • Help Line-ACCESS Center
  • Homeless Outreach Mobile Engagement (HOME) Program
  • Housing and Job Development Division
  • Housing and Supportive Services Program
  • Human Resources Bureau (HRB)
  • Linkage Programs
  • Maternal Mental Health
  • Men’s Community Re-Entry Program
  • MHSA Administration and Oversight Division
  • Outpatient Services Division
  • Transition Age Drop-In Centers
  • Wellness Outreach Workers (WOW)
  • Prevention and Early Intervention (Older Adults) – Anti-Stigma and Discrimination Team
  • Older Adult Service Extenders
  • Patient’s Rights Office
  • Peer Run Centers
  • Prevent Homelessness and Promote Health
  • Prevention Bureau
  • Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion (ARDI) Division
  • Community Ambassador Network
  • Cultural Competency Committee (CCC)
  • Cultural Competency Unit (CCU)
  • Health Neighborhoods
  • Language Assistance Services Team
  • LBGTQIA2-Clinical Consultation Team/Champion Network
  • My Health Los Angeles (MHLA)
  • Promotores de Salud & United Mental Health Promoters Programs
  • School-based Community Access Point
  • Spanish Support Groups
  • Speakers Bureau
  • Underserved Cultural Communities (UsCC) Unit and Subcommittees
  • Public Information Office (PIO)
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Division
  • Quality, Outcomes and Training Division (QOTD)
  • Quality Improvement (QI) Unit
  • Training Unit
  • Stakeholder Process
    • Community Leadership Team (CLT)
  • Telemental Health Program
  • Transition Age Navigation Team
  • Transition Age Youth Drop-In Centers (TAY)
  • Urgent Care Centers
  • Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN)
  • Women’s Community Re-Entry Program

The 2023 Cultural Competence Plan report will soon be accessible at the Cultural Competence Unit’s web page: Cultural Competency Unit – Department of Mental Health (