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Language Line Services Forms Independent Global Advisory Council to Enhance the Availability of Trained, Tested and Certified Medical Interpreters.

Health Care and Interpreter Industry Experts to Help Guide the Quality Standards and Expand the Reach of Company's Medical Certification Programs

MONTEREY, Calif. -- As part of its ongoing commitment to improve the quality of medical care provided to limited-English speaking patients, leading interpretation services provider Language Line Services has gathered health care and medical interpreting experts, patient advocates and other language service providers to form an independent Global Advisory Council (GAC) that will help guide the company's interpreter certification programs and medical interpreting-related policy initiatives. The GAC will work collaboratively with Language Line[R] University, the company's globally recognized interpreter training and certification subsidiary, to develop and expand the availability of educational and "best practice" guidelines that simplify and standardize training and testing for interpreters working in the medical field.

"Language Line University has formed the Global Advisory Council as a means to improve both the access and delivery of quality health care to limited English proficient patients," said Louis Provenzano, President and COO of Language Line Services. "We are extremely pleased to have gathered such an impressive group of industry thought leaders who share Language Line University's desire to accelerate solutions that will eliminate costly, and often life-threatening, language barriers in the health care setting."

The nine inaugural members of the Global Advisory Council include:

* Louise Behiel, Assistant Manager, Interpretation & Translation Services, Calgary Health Region, Canada

* Janet Bonet, Director, National Association for Translators and Interpreters (NATI), Omaha, NE

* Kathleen K. Diamond, President and CEO, LLE Language Services, Washington, DC

* Winnie Heh, VP Global Operations, Language Line Services, Monterey, CA

* David Jones, Interpretation & Volunteer Services, Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA

* Linda Joyce, Consultant and Language Access Specialist, Walton, WV

* Deborah Saldana, Director of Interpreter Development & Training, Phoenix Language Services, Inc, Philadelphia, PA

* Diane de Terra, PhD, Research Professor of Language Practice, University of Maryland's National Foreign Language Center , College Park, MD

* John Weiner, VP of Products & Services, PSI Psychological Services, Burbank, CA

In addition to the council members listed above, there will be two international representatives appointed to the council. There is also an open call for applications currently underway for two remaining seats available for any interpreter or industry stakeholder that wishes to apply. In the interest of impartiality and maintaining an inclusive process, applicants will be reviewed and elected to the open council seats by the existing GAC members.

"As an industry we have a responsibility to provide quality language interpretation services to patients with limited English proficiency, and as the population becomes more linguistically diverse, this responsibility becomes more apparent, and more urgent," said GAC member Linda Joyce. "While most hospitals are conforming to legal regulations regarding language access, many are doing so only with a patchwork infrastructure of interpreters that have not been tested for their understanding of key medical terms and cultural nuances, skills that are essential to ensuring accurate diagnosis and treatment."

"The fact is, many of our nation's hospitals' language access programs are on life support - they are receiving a great deal of attention, but their condition is not improving," added Provenzano. "It has never been more important to focus on creating clear standards for formal language access programs, so that everyone who walks in the doors of a hospital will be understood and receive the care they need. I am hopeful that with the input of the Global Advisory Council, Language Line University can put the industry on a path towards fulfilling this need for all patients, regardless of language."

About Language Line Services

Language Line Services, the leading provider of telephone interpreting and other language-based services, is a trusted partner to thousands of organizations whose focus is to effectively serve the rapidly expanding market of limited English speakers. The company delivers a dynamic suite of solutions spanning phone and video interpretation, translation, transcription, localization and localized software and devices and the only medical interpreter certification program that is externally validated. Through its leading-edge technology infrastructure, Language Line Services provides support for more than 170 spoken languages and American Sign Language to its industry-leading portfolio of clients across markets including health care, financial services, government, telecom, manufacturing, insurance, entertainment, travel, and more. For information on how Language Line Services is helping clients achieve their strategic multi-cultural marketing and regulatory compliance objectives, please call 1-800-752-6096 or visit http://www.languageLine.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 28, 2008
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