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Assemblymember Valencia’s cultural medical equity bill heads to the Governor’s desk.

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate voted 39-0 to pass AB 470, a Latino Caucus Priority bill, which would ensure Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses align with federal and state threshold language requirements.


This bill, carried by Assemblymember Valencia (D-Anaheim), aims to address existing language barriers between physicians and patients by encouraging the development of new CME courses, where physicians can learn to speak languages that are spoken by 10% or more of the state’s population. AB 470 specifies that associations that accredit CME courses may update their standards for cultural and linguistic competency in conjunction with an advisory group that is informed of federal and state threshold language requirements.


According to a UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative report, nearly 44% of Californians speak a language other than English at home. This underscores the need to ensure our physicians have the opportunity to take newer linguistic courses to better understand their patients and provide culturally competent care.


Expanding opportunities for physicians to take new language courses will allow them to communicate with their patients in the patient’s preferred language,” said Assemblymember Valencia. “The passage of this measure will remove language barriers and lead to better health outcomes.”


“As a bilingual, family doctor at one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), serving over 500,000 patients in the most diverse communities in California, including Latino, immigrant, and multi-ethnic working families and seniors, on behalf of AltaMed, we commend Asm. Valencia and the Latino Caucus in advancing this important language equity measure. We look forward to the Governor signing this important measure into law,” stated Dr. Olga Ventura.

"Communication is an essential part of providing quality health care, and research has shown that patients who receive care from physicians who speak their language experience better health outcomes," said Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., president of the California Medical Association. "The California Medical Association and its nearly 50,000 members thank Assemblymember Avelino Valencia for his leadership on AB 470, which affirms the importance of cultural and linguistic competency as a core tenant of continuing medical education."


AB 470 has been sent to the Governor for signature.