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Health Care Leaders Seek Ways to Meet California's Limited-English Proficient Patients' Language Needs.

Business Editors/Health & Medical Writers


In an effort to improve the delivery of health care services to limited-English proficient (LEP (Light Emitting Polymer) An organic polymer that glows (emits photons) when excited by electricity. LEP screens are used to make organic LED (OLED) displays and are expected to compete with LCD screens in the future. See OLED. ) Californians, a collaborative of 25 physician and medical organizations from across the state has been assembled to create The California Endowment's Medical Leadership Council for Language Access. Led by the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP CAFP Canadian Association of Financial Planners
CAFP California Academy of Family Physicians
CAFP Caribbean Agriculture & Fisheries Programme
CAFP Common Area Fill Port
), the Council will seek out strategies to improve the provision of interpreter and translation services to LEP patients. Funding for the Council was provided with a $424,700 grant from The Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation.

"Ensuring access to high quality health care for California's limited-English proficient communities is a priority of The California Endowment," said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of The Endowment. "By bringing together health care leaders from across the state, we are assembling the best possible resources for identifying solutions to the challenges of providing and funding interpreter and translation services."

The Council, which is one component of The Endowment's four-pronged strategy to develop the field of health care interpretation and translation, will meet biannually bi·an·nu·al  
1. Happening twice each year; semiannual.

2. Occurring every two years; biennial.

 to discuss strategies to improve the quality of care received by patients with LEP, and to explore policy changes that can provide solutions to funding for health care interpretation services.

"We in the medical community are pleased to join this visionary effort," said Leonard Fromer, M.D., co-convener of the Council and immediate past president of the CAFP. "Any physician practicing in California knows first-hand how critical language access services are for patients who speak languages from nearly every country in the world."

According the Census 2000 Supplemental Survey, 39.5 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. It is estimated that 51 percent or seven million of these individuals are LEP and would benefit from language assistance -- either interpretation (spoken) or translation (written) -- when accessing health care services.

In April 2002, Brandeis University Brandeis University, at Waltham, Mass.; coeducational; chartered and opened 1948. Although Brandeis was founded by members of the American Jewish community, the university operates as an independent, nonsectarian institution.  released a report showing that LEP hospital patients face a much greater risk of medical error and misdiagnosis mis·di·ag·no·sis
n. pl. mis·di·ag·no·ses
An incorrect diagnosis.

 when they are not provided with an interpreter.

Additionally, the Institute of Medicine (IOM IOM

See: Index and Option Market
) released a report in March 2002, which showed that minorities receive a lower quality of care than whites, even when their insurance and income are the same. The IOM review of more than 100 studies conducted over the past decade concludes that these disparities contributed to higher death rates among minorities from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.  infection.

Since 1948, the California Academy of Family Physicians has been advancing the cause of family physicians and their patients. With nearly 7,000 members, including active practicing family physicians, residents in family medicine, and medical students interested in the specialty, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California, and the largest chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians American Academy of Family Physicians, a national medical organization established in 1947 to promote the practice of family medicine.
. For more information, visit their Web site at

The California Endowment was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment has regional offices in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California. For more information, visit their Web site at

Leadership Council Members

American Academy of Pediatrics The American Academy of Pediatrics ("AAP") is an organization of pediatricians, physicians trained to deal with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. Its motto is: "Dedicated to the Health of All Children. , District IX

California Association of Public Hospitals and

Health Systems

American College of Obstetricians and

Gynecologists, District IX

American College of Physicians-American

Society of Internal Medicine, CA Chapter

California Chapter, American College of

Emergency Physicians

California Medical Association

Fresno-Madera Medical Society

Los Angeles County Medical Association

San Francisco Medical Society

St. Joseph Health System

Sutter Health

Catholic Healthcare West Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) is a California not-for-profit public benefit corporation that operates hospitals in California, Arizona, and Nevada[1]. As such, it is exempt from federal and state income taxes.  

California Academy of Family Physicians

Association of American Indian Physicians

California Association of Health Plans

Asian Pacific Islander American Pacific Islander Americans are residents of the United States with original ancestry from the Pacific Islands. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population.  Health Forum

California Healthcare Association

California Latino Medical Association

California Primary Care Association

Golden State Medical Association

San Diego County Medical Society

Sierra-Sacramento Valley Medical Association

Santa Clara County Medical Association

Wellpoint Health System

Kaiser Permanente (invited guest)

Scripps Health (invited guest)
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Comment:Health Care Leaders Seek Ways to Meet California's Limited-English Proficient Patients' Language Needs.
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 12, 2002
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