The Philadelphia Interpreter Training Program, initiated in 1998, is designed to improve access to quality care by improving communication between health care providers and patients with limited English proficiency. Our approach is to build capacity at the institutional level and, therefore, to work with whole organizations rather than individuals. In some settings, where the desire and the capacity exist, HFP is able to facilitate a train-the-trainer process so that support for language access can be internalized. In addition to many healthcare providers, we have worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office on immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, as well as with the City Commissioners, to support full access to the Polls.
Institutions that have participated in this program report a dramatic decrease in the number of complaints received from or on behalf of patients with limited English proficiency. They also report an increase in the use of trained interpreters as a result of greater awareness of the need for and benefits of this service. Requests for this program continue to rise as institutions expand their efforts to provide culturally-competent care, improve their risk management and meet regulatory agency requirements.
Most recently, HFP has partnered with the PA Dept of Heath, Office of Health Equity, Refugee Health Program to develop the “PA Qualified Medical Interpreter” designation, through customized training to meet the unique needs of PA’s rapidly growing refugee communities and the diverse organizations that serve them.
For more information, please contact Shandra Banutu-Gomez