head shot 2I speak on culture and healthcare, cultural competency, thoughts on being an adult third culture kid, faith, my journey to Eastern Orthodoxy, and identity. I would love to talk with you if you are interested in having me speak to your group or organization. Just fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you. Thank you for your interest!

Cultural Competency in Health Care

Cultural competency in health care is both a professional and personal passion of mine. As a nurse, I have witnessed first hand the importance of taking into account the cultural beliefs and values of patients. I speak on the following topics within the framework of a cultural competency curriculum called Communicating Across Boundaries.

  • What is Cultural Competency? Provides a theoretical overview of cultural competency as a field of study, as a series of behavioral changes and as a strategy for successfully reaching diverse populations with health care messages.
  • Health Disparities: The Foundation provides an overview of the issue of disparities within the United States as well as ways to research ongoing work in the area of disparities.
  • Beliefs and Barriers provides an overview of health attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that diverse communities may hold as well as the institutional, community and provider level barriers that may prevent diverse communities from accessing screening services.
  • Communication Strategies provides a discussion of communication styles and a set of guidelines for improved communication with diverse communities.
  • Outreach Strategies provides a discussion of the key components of a culturally competent outreach plan and a set of guidelines for culturally competent outreach to diverse communities.

Third Culture & Cross Cultural Kids – Who, What, and Why

  • This introductory topic introduces definitions, recent research, and practical steps to working with TCKs and CCKs

How Do You Write Your Name in the Land? 

  • Adapting and adjusting to our passport countries can be an ongoing task. How can we do this well? This talk will focus on both practical and emotional ways of adjusting to the lands where we find ourselves.

Home is Where our Story Begins – Identity & Belonging

  • Using both personal stories and evidence-based research, this sessionfocuses on the reality of the ‘hidden immigrant’ phenomenon, questions of place and belonging, support systems, and TCK/CCK prejudice

What to do with “Saudade?”

  • “Saudade” is a Portuguese word that has no English equivalent. It is described as a “wistful longing for what no longer exists.” This word captures the TCK/CCK experience of grief and loss. Research tells us that TCKs have experienced more grief and loss by the time they are 21 than most people do in a lifetime. This session looks at grief and loss, going beyond steps of grieving, to specifics ways TCKs can work through their grief.

Turning a Multicultural Past into a Meaningful Present

  • TCKs and CCKs have a wealth of experience that comes from lives lived around the globe. How does that translate into job opportunities, career decisions, and college quests? We will look at specific examples of TCKs who have transitioned to meaningful careers and how they got there.

Finding Faith in the In-between 

  • Faith can get complicated when we live between worlds. This session is specifically looking at why it gets complicated, and focuses on the idea of “sacred mobility.”

The TCK Dictionary and Other Resources

  • Finding a vocabulary to express our experience is one of the ways we learn to live well where we don’t belong. This session focuses on a variety of resources for third culture kids including a TCK dictionary, books, blogs, and research. The participant will leave with specific tools to better work with TCKs and CCKs.

Endorsements & References

Marilyn Gardner provides presentations that are engaging, participatory, and personalized.” From Communicating Across Cultural Boundaries, May 2015

“Knowlegeable and hands on presenter. Great stories to support topics.” From Creating a Welcoming Place for All, June 2015

“Excellent, effective, articulate, and knowledgeable. Fabulous teacher.” From Communicating Across Cultural Boundaries, May 2015

Podcast – Home is Where Your Story Begins

PodcastOn Refugees, Fear, and Politics