Applied Anthropology

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M. Jean Gilbert Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Dr. Gilbert is a medical anthropologist with a specialization in social epidemiology and prevention research. Her initial studies in California and Mexico examined family structure and familial relationships in the two countries. Further research examined cross-cultural similarities and differences in health care utilization and support networks among couples having their first babies. She was Scholar in Latino Alcohol Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1984 to 1990 and a member of the Epidemiology and Prevention Study Group, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, from 1986 to 1990. She served on the National Research Council, Institute of Medicine Committee on Alcoholism Prevention Research in 1989-1991 and as a consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.


From 1993-2000, Jean was the Director of Cultural Competence for Kaiser Permanente California. She served on the Cultural and Linguistics Task Force for MediCal Managed Care, chairing the Linguistics Committee as well as the Department of Health and Human Services National Advisory Committee for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Services (CLAS). She currently serves on the Cultural and Linguistic Advisory Group for LA Care, and the Los Angeles County Cultural and Linguistic Standards Workgroup. She consults with the Nathan Kline Psychiatric Institute in New York and advises the White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles, on cultural and linguistic issues in Family Practice Residency training. Recently, she was appointed to the National Advisory Committee of Hablamos Juntos, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative on interpretation in healthcare. She is a founding member of the California Healthcare Interpreters Association (CHIA).

At California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Gilbert teaches medical anthropology and conducts research on the use of interpreters in clinical settings and the quality of cultural responsiveness training in American medical schools. Through her consulting business, “Cultures in the Clinic,” she advises health care organizations, lectures and conducts workshops for health care professionals.

Click to see a PDF version of a recent presentation by Dr. Gilbert. (You will need Acrobat Reader or an Acrobat plug-in on your browser to read this file.)

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