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CPEHN Report: A Blueprint for Success: Bringing Language Access to Millions of Californians

Monday, January 05, 2009

Full Report:


In 2003, CPEHN sponsored SB 853, the Care Language Assistance Act. The first of its kind in the country, this bill holds health plans accountable for the provision of linguistically-appropriate services - requiring the California Department of Managed Health (DMHC) to develop standards for interpreter services, translation of materials, and the collection of race, ethnicity, and language data.

The following case study documents CPEHN's advocacy efforts over nearly a decade in passing and implementing SB 853, which goes into full effect on January 1, 2009. Facing hurdles that ranged from health plan opposition to rapid administrative turnover due to the 2003 gubernatorial recall, the passage and implementation of SB 853 is a tribute to CPEHN's tenacious advocacy and commitment to ensuring the needs of communities of color are met. It is our hope that the new law, as well as CPEHN's community-driven approach to our policy work, will serve as a model for future efforts to address the health inequities that continue to plague our nation.

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