November 2, 2018

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Waterloo Wellington LHIN & Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre Launch Interpretation Services for Patients

Residents across Waterloo and Wellington who have a limited ability to speak English or French will now have access to professional interpretation services when they require specific health care services.

In addition to improving communication, the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) anticipates that interpretation services will improve the patient experience, as well as the health outcomes of thousands of local residents, many who experience health inequities. 

This joint initiative of the Waterloo Wellington LHIN and the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre was announced on Friday, November 2 at a launch event at the Centre.

Funding for this initiative is being provided by the Waterloo Wellington LHIN; and, services will be arranged through the KW Multicultural Centre in partnership with Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington and Access Alliance Language Services.

Interpretation services will be available at no cost when residents go to their family physician, or when they access mental health and community support services anywhere in Waterloo Wellington. Health care providers will have fast, easy access to interpreters who can provide interpretation services either in-person or over the phone.

In-person interpretation will be available in approximately 50 languages. Interpretation over the phone will be available in approximately 140 languages. To access services, family physicians or clinicians will simply need to contact the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre at 519‑745‑2593 to arrange interpretation services for their patients.

QUOTES

“Understanding a health care diagnosis and care plan is incredibly important to a person’s health and wellbeing. This can be more challenging for a resident who does not speak fluent English or French. By providing interpretation services, we can reduce health inequities and improve the health of residents and their families in our community. We’re proud to be partnering with the Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre on these much needed services.” – Bruce Lauckner, Chief Executive Officer of the Waterloo Wellington LHIN

“This is great news for our region. We know this will improve health outcomes, reduce costs and enhance the ability of health care providers to serve limited-English speakers. Launching this service with our partners is an honour.” – Lucia Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

“As a medical provider, I depend on being able to communicate with my patients in order to ensure the highest standard of diagnosis and treatment. Beyond helping newcomers get the care they need, the use of interpretation leads to less ordering of costly investigations, better medication selection, fewer side effects, and less emergency room visits. This leads to better health outcomes and less overall costs to the system. I am pleased that the Waterloo Wellington LHIN has taken a leadership role in ensuring that our health system is flexible and accountable to all users, and I am thrilled that the high-quality program at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre will be the local lead agency.” – Dr. Mike Stephenson, Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre

QUICK FACTS

Over the past decade, the Waterloo Wellington L H I N has worked to significantly improve the quality and availability of local health care. Now, we’re focused on making it easier. Easier for you to be healthy. Easier for you to get the care and support you need. Easier for you and your family to live the healthiest lives possible.

We connect you with care, at home and in the community, and better connect your health system to improve your care experience. As a crown agency of the Government of Ontario, we invest $1.1 billion annually in local health services to improve the health and wellbeing of the almost 800,000 residents we serve across Waterloo Wellington.

LINKS

Media Contacts

Connie MacDonald Executive Lead, Patient Experience, Communications & Community Engagement, Waterloo Wellington LHIN 519‑748‑2222 ext. 3235 connie.macdonald@lhins.on.ca

Lucia Harrison Chief Executive Officer
Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre 519‑745‑2531
lucia@kwmc-on.com