Multicultural News

Eskenazi Health’s language services ramp up amid COVID-19

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Coronavirus has kept local hospitals busy.

And Eskenazi Health is stepping up its efforts to make sure language isn’t a barrier for any patients. Not everyone who comes to the hospital is going to speak English. But to make sure they are getting the proper care, language services can provide interpreters for over 170 languages. With the coronavirus crisis, the team has moved to full time.

Together we can get through this pandemic: That’s a growing goal around the country and state. And hospital employees are at the front of it. And it’s not just first responders. At Eskenazi Health, it’s also interpreters.

“Interpreters have been working full-time since the health crisis started on campus,” said multicultural affairs manager Jean Leroux-Guillen.

He said about 40 people make up the hospitals’ interpreter staff. And they have the ability to provide support in over 170 languages through in-person, video conferencing and phone services.

“This health crisis problem has demonstrated to a lot of people our community is as strong as our weakest population, and when we are all vulnerable and in effect, we affect each other,” he said.

The coronavirus pandemic has put added pressure on both medical and translation needs. Safety is a priority when assisting in visits, but it’s important that the patients who come through these doors have proper access to what they need.

While interpreter staff has moved full-time at the main campus, Leroux-Guillen said depending on demand, the same translation services are available at any of its health centers.

Eskenazi has translated materials available for people who need them. And in the event that they don’t have someone who specifically speaks a language you need, they partner with other local agencies to fill that gap.​