An evolving industry

Right now, the health care interpreter industry in Oregon is going through some major changes.

 Hospitals are becoming more aware of the important role of the interpreter.  Oregon House Bill 2419, which carries significant revisions that come into effect on January 1st, 2016, states that “it is the policy of the Legislative Assembly to require the use of certified health care interpreters or qualified health care interpreters whenever possible.”  To comply with this, hospitals are working harder than ever to ensure their use of certified or qualified interpreters.

More communities and organizations are acting to ensure meaningful language access.  Let’s Talk Diversity, a Regional Health Equity Coalition, is currently training health care professionals on the importance of the interpreter.  Morrison Child and Family Services, a nonprofit in Oregon, just completed a revealing language equity study that gives strong evidence as to why well trained interpreters are necessary.  

Celebrating these victories is important.  

But there is still more to be done.  Stories still surface in the news where poorly trained interpreters commit interpretation errors that are life threatening.  We still receive reports regularly of disrespect and discrimination towards interpreters from specific health care and language service providers.

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