CHA Delivers Culturally Competent Care

01/08/2018
(L-R) CHA medical interpreters Sussen Miller, Cassia Silva, Isabel Pinto-Franco, Milca Amado, Sandra Alves and Aurea Siewert.

Cambridge Health Alliance serves one of the most culturally diverse patient populations in the United States. Forty-two percent of primary care patients at CHA have limited English proficiency and require the services of a professional medical interpreter. CHA's Multicultural Affairs and Patient Services (MAPS) Department regularly provides interpreter services in more than sixty languages.

Interpreter services also handle requests for the deaf or hard of hearing, including American Sign Language and Certified Deaf Interpreter services. The MAPs team at CHA reached several new milestones in delivering care to its diverse patient population.

Multilingual Program

In 2017, CHA welcomed 3,975 new Limited English Proficient patients in primary care and finished the year with a record 281,506 completed interpretations. CHA now has 10 interpreters who have an internal capacity for Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, and Cantonese language services. The increased expansion will focus on Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, and Nepali language access programs.

Cultural and Linguistic Education

Over the last year, 88 providers completed certificate to become bilingual clinicians and provide direct care in languages other than English. The multilingual program at CHA is one of the largest of its kind in the state of Massachusetts and has been pivotal in promoting safe communication practices.

MAPs also provides written translation services for forms, signage, and patient materials and cultural and linguistic education for clinical and non-clinical staff. Click here to learn more about Diversity at CHA.

Cambridge Health Alliance

Contributed By: Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health care system committed to serving all members of our communities. We have expertise in primary care, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for diverse and complex populations. CHA patients receive high quality care in convenient neighborhood locations, and have seamless access to advanced care through CHA’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville Everett and Boston’s Metro North, CHA is working hard to offer the integrated services its communities need now, and in the future.