DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – Parkland Health & Hospital System will expand its hospital-based medical interpreter video call center in November 2018. By insourcing a service that was being handled by out-of-county call centers and home-based workers in Guatemala and Mexico, Parkland anticipates more than $1 million in savings to Dallas County taxpayers.
“This facility will allow Parkland to better serve the unique and extensive linguistic needs of the individuals and communities entrusted to our care,” said Meredith Stegall, Parkland’s Director of Language Services.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin is prohibited. Therefore, healthcare providers including hospitals that receive federal funding such as Medicare and Medicaid are required to provide language access services for their patients free of charge. At Parkland, Dallas County’s only public hospital, it means services are provided in more than 166 different languages. In fiscal 2017, there were more than 1.1 million interpretations provided to limited English proficiency patients system-wide. While the majority of the interpretations were for Spanish-speaking patients, there were also patients who spoke Vietnamese, Arabic, Burmese and lesser known languages such as Kinyarwandan, Rohingya and K’iche, which is a Mayan language of Guatemala.
Parkland began recruiting for the 80 positions in March, with the intention of onboarding the first 30 new hires by September 2018. The remaining roles will be filled during fiscal year 2019. Along with creating 80 jobs in the Dallas County community, those who are hired in Parkland’s medical interpreter video call center will have access to tuition reimbursement and benefits for those seeking a career path into healthcare.
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