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APALC Report: Walking the Talk: Investing in Healthcare Interpreting Programs

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) today released a new report outlining the need for health care interpreters in Los Angeles County. Walking the Talk: Investing in Healthcare Interpreting Programs uses original research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research to investigate the current capacity to provide trained language services in the healthcare setting.

“Despite the clear demand for trained interpreters in healthcare, we continuously fail to meet the needs of limited English proficient communities throughout Los Angeles County,” said Karin Wang, Vice President of Programs at APALC. The report surveys a wide range of healthcare providers throughout each of the seven County Service Planning Areas (SPAs) and assesses their capacity to provide trained interpreters. The findings identify that the need for interpreters is great.

“In our current fiscal crisis, the development of a trained healthcare interpreter workforce would be an added benefit to our local economy,” said Sara Sadhwani, director of the immigrant rights project at APALC. The report found that certain health providers could be saving nearly $45,000 annually by switching from out sourced interpreter services to a trained and permanent staff of full time interpreters.

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