We speak your language

Interpreters now available 24/7

Interpretation services are available in more than 100 languages, including American Sign Language and Spanish.By Sarah Bello

Patients come to CMH and its clinics from many cultures and walks of life. The medical environment, when coupled with language barriers, can cause unnecessary stress and confusion. 

With input from community stakeholders, CMH recently rolled out a new interpretation program. Patients at any of CMH’s facilities can now access medical interpretation services in more than 100 languages. 

The new service is available any time of the day and allows caregivers and patients to communicate through qualified interpreters via real-time audio, video and in person. It assists CMH in offering the highest quality of patient-centered care — a core tenet of our Planetree philosophy. 

CMH worked with the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council and members of the deaf community to develop the program. Kendra Gohl, Director of Nursing, led the yearlong planning initiative with the CMH Interpretation Task Force. 

“It is an incredibly important part of the healthcare we provide, because if we can’t speak the same language as a patient, we are less effective in caring for them as a whole person,” Gohl says. 

Available to everyone at no cost

Patients may now request interpretation at any time, and there is never a cost for using the service. Caregivers throughout the hospital are trained on the program and can easily assist those who need these services. 

In addition to being able to speak a patient’s language, qualified interpreters must follow generally accepted ethics principles, including client confidentiality, and they must be able to interpret accurately and impartially. 

We want to ensure that every patient can be heard, understood and informed. 

To learn more about our language interpreter services, please call 503-338-4003 or visit columbiamemorial.org/interpretation.  

Read more from the Spring 2018 issue of the CMH Health Compass.

Masks continue to be required at CMH for patients, caregivers, and visitors.Learn More