New Medical Interpreter Information Initiative
The American Translators Association (ATA) has launched a Medical Interpreter Information Initiative, an effort of the ATA Medical Division, with the support of the ATA Interpreters Division.
Appropriately, they started with an article about CLAS Standards, by Christina McDowell!
Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, Office of Minority Health, 2011). Presently in the United States, individuals from various cultural backgrounds cannot obtain the highest level of health for many reasons, including socioeconomic status, language, education level and the location and availability of health services.
Although health inequities have been due to discrimination in the past and continue in the present, one of the factors that can be relatively easily improved is the supply of services that are responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of individuals. Cultural diversity among patients needs to be recognized and an individual understanding of particular customs, as well as the identification of the socioeconomic status, disabilities, sexual orientation and gender identity.
It is critical for health disparities to be reduced, if not eliminated, to ensure that patients don’t have a negative outcome. The detrimental social determinants of health which include lack of access to good jobs, unsafe neighborhoods, malnutrition and poor transportation are significant factors that need to be overcome to enable better outcomes.
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