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MN: Roster of health care interpreters established

Monday, January 12, 2009

Roster of health care interpreters established
By Capitol Report staff
January 12, 2009

The Minnesota Department of Health has announced a new initiative designed to improve health care access for Minnesotans with language barriers.

The first phase of the Interpreter Services Quality Initiative, based on legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, will establish a volunteer roster of people available statewide to provide spoken-language interpreter services in health care settings. Anyone who wants to be listed on the roster must complete an application and pay a $50 fee.

In the second phase of the program, a registry will be established for health care language interpreters in the state as part of a broader effort to professionalize the field of health care language interpretation. To be listed on the registry, interpreters must meet minimum professional qualifications.

The Health Department began compiling a roster of interpreters in November, and the list will be available to health care providers shortly. The roster will include information about interpreter services for the 21 non-English languages most commonly spoken in Minnesota, along with more than 100 other possible languages.

For more information, or to sign up for the roster online, go to http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/pqc/hci/index.html or call 651-201-3731.

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