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Health disparities are differences in health status between segments of the population due to greater social and economic barriers to health. Health disparities are prevalent and, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, they are likely to increase if not adequately addressed.
One way to address them is through cultural competency. Cultural competency in health care is the ability to recognize and understand cultural distinctions, address unconscious/conscious bias, and adapt care delivery and services to meet individuals’ unique social, cultural, and language needs.