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Cultural competence hanna

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Running Head: CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH
1
Cultural Competence in Public Health
Mark Hanna
GCU: PUB520
Hripsime Wright
September 30, 2020

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CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH
2
The definition of culture, to my astonishment, is described as the "sum total of all
contributions of a group of people" at any given time or place (Funk & Wagnalls, 2018). This
definition surprised me due to its great amount of detail while remaining concise. There are
numerous elements that make up a person's culture, most of which can closely tie or stem from
earlier influences in our lives. I thought that the above definition of culture was not entirely
accurate, but after some light research on the subject, I slowly and gradually began to realize and
understand the truth behind it. When discussing the impact of the various cultural elements on
public health; beliefs, attitudes, and practices can be used to help eliminate or lower the health
disparities. Not only do these elements influence the person's perception of their health, health
decision making, and health behaviors, but also of just about every aspect they consider.
As a Coptic Orthodox Christian, throughout the year I am expected to fast on certain
religious holidays or feasts commemorating saints. Fasting for a Coptic Orthodox Christian simply
means that one is not permitted consumption of dairy or meat products, so basically vegan.
Abruptly going to a vegan-like diet will certainly impact my health, health behaviors, and health
decision-making skills. For about the first week of fasting, if I ever actually do decide to fast, it
normally takes my body a few days to adjust to the new diet. This means mild to severe nausea or
the various list of common GI illness symptoms. Anyone can obviously say that I would
unarguably have a bias towards my own culture. Running into personal bias is inevitable, but
sometimes noticing that bias can seem like an impossible task. It is important that we address these
biases whenever they appear.
I believe that in almost every situation where biases are present, which can be very often,
perceptions are very easily clouded. I recently read The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz,
and it did a wonderful job explaining just how powerful our words can really be on ourselves and

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Running Head: CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH Cultural Competence in Public Health Mark Hanna GCU: PUB520 Hripsime Wright September 30, 2020 1 CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH 2 The definition of culture, to my astonishment, is described as the "sum total of all contributions of a group of people" at any given time or place (Funk & Wagnalls, 2018). This definition surprised me due to its great amount of detail while remaining concise. There are numerous elements that make up a person's culture, most of which can closely tie or stem from earlier influences in our lives. I thought that the above definition of culture was not entirely accurate, but after some light research on the subject, I slowly and gradually began to realize and understand the truth behind it. When discussing the impact of the various cultural elements on public health; beliefs, attitudes, and practices can be used to help eliminate or lower the health disparities. Not only do these elements influence the person's perception of their health, health decision making, and health behaviors, but also of just about every aspect they consider. As a Coptic Orthodox Christian, throughout the year I am expected to fast on certain religious holidays or feasts commemorating saints. Fasting for a Coptic Orthodox Christian simply means that one is not permitted consumption of dairy or meat products, so basically vegan. Abruptly going to a vegan-like diet will certainly impact my health, health behaviors, an ...
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