At the LA Health Services Office of Language Access and Inclusion (OLAI), we are honored to highlight the observance of the first Annual Language Access Week in Los Angeles County (September 24 – 30, 2023), as officially proclaimed by the Board of Supervisors.
As the celebrations of Latino/a/x Heritage Month continued through mid-October, and Indigenous Peoples Day was observed on October 9th, Language Access Week celebrations throughout our hospitals and clinics highlighted the importance of honoring the cultural and linguistic diversity of our staff and the patients we serve.
At LA Health Services, we serve a diverse patient population, including those who identify as Latino/a/x and prefer to receive their healthcare information in Spanish. On a yearly basis, our sites provide care to over 1.2 million Spanish-preferred patient visits (or about 50% of total visits). In addition, more than half (~54%) of our total patient visits prefer to receive their healthcare in a non-English language.
Language access is critical in caring for our patients and our communities. That’s why we continue to improve and increase access to Language Services. In fact, there are so many ways to connect with a professional healthcare interpreter whether we are caring for patients at one of our clinics or remotely through video or phone visits. For example, when someone comes into our facilities for a healthcare visit, they may connect with a professional healthcare interpreter in-person, over video conference, over the phone, or via a smartphone used by a member of their care team! In the same way, language services are integrated into our remote care visits through video conferencing and audio access to healthcare interpreters.
Did You Know?
- 93% of our non-English speaking patients prefer Spanish.
- 93% of our Healthcare Interpreters are Spanish-speaking.
- Over 90% of our Certified Bilingual staff are Spanish speaking.
- We have access to over 240 languages 24/7 by phone.
- Language Access is a patient right (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
During Language Access Week, LA County Health Services staff and patients across sites learned more about language access, services available and celebrated Healthcare Interpreter Staff! Tools and resources were shared to educate and support being a language champions at their sites.
Visit the LA County Health Services Website Language Access Services – Language Access Services (lacounty.gov) for more information on those Language Access Services available.
We look forward to future celebrations and our continued efforts to strengthen language access for safer and higher-quality care for all. Let’s continue to be language champions LA County Health Services!