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Language Assistance Lacking at Resurrection Hospitals
Date:11/12/2007

e assistance services include providing trained medical translators and interpreters and providing consent forms and discharge instructions in commonly encountered languages.

Resurrection hospitals treat more Latino patients than any other Chicago health care network, yet employees report only two of RHC's eight hospitals employ professional interpreters. Among other area hospitals that treat high numbers of Latino inpatients, the average percent of revenue spent on language assistance services is five times higher than that at Resurrection.

Leticia Gonzales sought care for severe stomach pain at RHC's St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. Because of the language barrier the medical personnel were never able to effectively diagnose her condition. After months of suffering she was finally brought to another area hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe gallbladder infection that had spread to the kidneys. She underwent an operation and spent 15 days hospitalized in critical condition.

"Resurrection Health Care has more resources than other community hospitals but is doing far less in assuring that patients can get appropriate treatment no matter what language barriers may exist," said AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director, Henry Bayer.

Rev. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church, also joined in calling for Resurrection to reform its policy.

"We should demand more of any hospital, but we should expect more from a hospital system with a spiritual mission," Father Dowling said. "Beyond the obligation Resurrection has to the public health, they have an obligation to be a beacon of quality health care, administered clearly and understandably, no matter what language you speak."

Idida Perez, Executive Director of West Town Leadership United, summarized the door-to-door survey on barriers to health care access that was conducted over the summer.

"We asked residents who were not fluent in English if they had experie
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SOURCE HEART/AFSCME
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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