The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health today issued enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care, and a blueprint with guidance and strategies to help implement them. The first update to the standards since their release in 2000 expands the concepts of culture, audience, health and recipients to reflect new developments and trends, and includes a focus on leadership and governance as drivers of culturally competent health care and health equity. “This long-awaited update will provide hospitals, physicians and others at the front lines of care a vital resource to ensure the care they provide is of the highest quality for all,” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said in a blog post today on the Equity of Care website, which supports the 2011 national call to action by AHA and others to eliminate health care disparities. Umbdenstock participated in the launch of the standards at an HHS event this morning. Fred Hobby, president and CEO of the AHA’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management, served on the national advisory panel that developed and refined the enhanced standards.