Improving the health and well being of linguistically diverse
communities in Oregon

The Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association (OHCIA)

was founded by health care interpreters to represent their professional interests, promote cooperation with federal, state and local government agencies, connect with clients of health care interpreter services and educate other stakeholders about the need to provide interpreting services to limited English proficient (LEP) clients and methods for utilizing health care interpreters in medical settings.

Changing Demographics

The number of non-English speaking households in the United States has increased significantly. According to the 2010 census, 55.4 million Americans speak a language other than English when they are at home. This represents a 140 percent increase since 1980.

As Oregon and the United States become more linguistically diverse, the use of professional, trained, and certified health care interpreters in medical settings is more important than ever. Utilizing health care interpreters in medical situations prevents and minimizes misdiagnoses and poor treatment outcomes, thus improving health care access and quality for LEP patients. Health Care Interpretation is also essential for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Right Act of eliminating discrimination based on people’s national origin.

The Need for Qualified Health Care Interpreters

Skilled and qualified interpreters are an important part of health care for limited English proficient (LEP) patients.

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