For the past two years, CyraCom, one of the leading providers of language interpreting services to healthcare, hosted a language services summit here in Phoenix. The three day summit acted as a platform for healthcare systems to share information related to their language access programs, challenges, and needs seen in various communities in the U.S.

This year, Stella Kiarie from our Office of Disease Integration Services’ Refugee Health Program was one of the summit’s featured speakers. Stella’s presentation included an overview of the global situation related to displacement, the national and local refugee resettlement programs, our current continuum of care coordination, and public health interventions to reduce disease burden and improve health outcomes for refugee communities resettled in Arizona. Participants from across the country appreciated population-based information related to serving diverse populations as well as increased awareness of the language access demand and resources for refugees resettled in the nation.

Other participants shared information such as: use of trans-creation to improve health systems, interpreter services for large campus and specialty programs, cultural competence and language access for underserved and vulnerable populations, interpreter training and retention, and future directions related to language access.