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  • Feb 10, 2019

CHA delivers compassionate care to all

Pictured are some of CHA's interpreters.

Cambridge Health Alliance serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the United States. Forty-three percent of primary care patients at CHA have limited English proficiency and require the support of a medical interpreter. CHA's Multicultural Affairs and Patient Services (MAPS) Department regularly handles interpreter services in more than sixty languages. MAPS also organizes language assistance requests for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, including American Sign Language and Certified Deaf Interpreter services.

The MAPS team at CHA has recently reached several new achievements:

Language Access Program

In 2018, CHA welcomed 2,306 new Limited English Proficient patients in primary care and finished the year with a record 314,569 completed interpretations. CHA now has 50 regular staff interpreters with an internal capacity for Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Mandarin, and Cantonese. An additional 52 per diem interpreters serve another 10 languages. MAPS expects to continue program expansion in 2019 with a focus on Moroccan Arabic and Nepali language access.

Bilingual Providers

By 2018, over 100 CHA providers had met the requirements to become credentialed bilingual clinicians and provide direct care in languages other than English.

MAPS also provides written translation services for forms, signage, and patient materials, as well as cultural and linguistic education for clinical and non-clinical staff. The language access program at CHA is one of the largest of its kind in the state of Massachusetts and has been pivotal in promoting safe communication practices. 

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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